The Team KAMAZ Master is entering on the next Sonangol Africa Race. A return in Africa for this mythical team which proves the growing interest for the Sonangol Africa Race in the Cross Country Rallies. The symbolic boss of KAMAZ Master and Silk Way Rally Organizer Semen Yakubov agreed to answer few questions to the Africa Eco Race press team:
You are on the basis of the long story of KAMAZ in racing, and you possess one of the biggest prize list in Cross Country Rallies. How are you?
Semen YAKUBOV: I am still working hard as I am still in charge of numerous matters for the team KAMAZ Master. Besides, as you know certainly, since 2009, I am organizing in Russia, the Silk Way Rally. This event became very popular all over the world. We have already made a debriefing of the Silk Way Rally 2012. We have started to work hard for the next edition for which, we hope, have great pilots and teams.
Team KAMAZ wrote most right-hand pages of its story in Africa under your responsibility. What motivated this return on the Sonangol Africa Race?
Semen YAKUBOV: In a way, you answered this question. Indeed, we have good souvenirs of Africa, even if sometimes it was not easy. But, the possibility to overcome difficulties in extreme conditions, a trip in unknown territories, the discovery of new cultures, constitute the real values of Cross Country Rallies. Africa, with its hard tests, incredible beauty of its landscapes and this spirit of the Dakar Rally, will remain engraved for ever in my memory. We have many friends in the discipline. All those who participated at least once in the Africa Race, speak unanimously of a true and friendly atmosphere, the mutual aid and the fraternity on this event. Like it is said in a song: ” in the sport there are opponents, but there are no enemies “. I believe that it is to the founder of this race, Jean-Louis SCHLESSER, that returns the merit. Actually, as he is still a pilot, he knows what competitors are waiting for and he knows perfectly what is important to make an event difficult and interesting at the same time.
Who will be the pilots of the 2 race trucks entering the race?
Semen YAKUBOV: On the sports plan, Africa Race is a very complicated race with on one hand the difficulties of the ground and on the other hand the presence of successful and experimented opponents. For us, it will be a very severe test for our two experimental young people Anton SHIBALOV and Dmitry SOTNIKOV. But, for them, the experience will be of the most precious.
About media, are you planning to set up a specific communication plan, in particular with Russian television?
Semen YAKUBOV: Yes, of course. In Russia, we work a lot on the promotion of Cross Country Rallies. All the competitions where KAMAZ Master participates, whether it is Silk Way Rally, Dakar and now Africa Race, create a huge interest from journalists and all the fans of motor sport.