Dakar is arguably the toughest rally in the world, with vehicles covering thousands of kilometres as they take on the gruelling 12-day event. The climate challenges of the Saudi Arabian dessert alongside long driving stints and tricky terrain makes this a human feat as well as a challenge for the vehicles themselves.
For 2021, Goodyear will continue its partnership with the winning Kamaz Master team. This year, the team secured first and second positions in the Dakar Rally after 12 challenging stages. This was the 17th win for the team which Goodyear says it a fantastic addition to its motorsport track record as the team’s official tyre partner.
As tyres are the only contact point between the sand, rocks, hazardous descents, and anything else competitors might face, it’s paramount they are working hard for the team.
Goodyear’s standard Offroad ORD tyres proved to be the perfect companion for the Kamaz Master team as they tackled the rally. The deep non-skid tread dedicated off-road compound, and improved resistance to cuts make this range perfectly suited to sandy, rocky conditions.
The Dakar Rally is also the perfect proving ground for these products. With unpredictable conditions over the 12-day journey, they need to be able to withstand whatever is thrown at them, propelling the team towards the finish line around 7,500km away.
A robust product that lasts, withstands cracking, is resistant to damage, and avoids holding stones and sharp objects, is key to the team’s success. The tyres also have to be able to withstand the temperature build-up as they drive through the desert — with pilots making sure that tyre pressures are always correct so the truck doesn’t get stuck in the sand.
In the 2020 rally, many teams struggled on the rubber-front but not Kamaz Master as team pilot Dmitry Sotnikov highlights: “The first part of the road was very rocky. I don’t remember that sort of Dakar for a long time, where we would just ride over solid stones.
“We witnessed everyone had wheel changes, where we could just continue the race. Our teams had only one tyre change within two weeks and that was in the very beginning on that rocky road.
“Almost everyone else had cuts, but we had not one complaint about the tyre during this very challenging edition. Be sure the Dakar is a very serious test for any tyre. We drove two marathon stages with these standard off-road Goodyears, and they have proven itself very well.”
These extreme conditions are the ultimate test bed for the products that reach commercial vehicle fleets around the world. Resistance to damage and the longevity of the tyre are just as vital to a road-going commercial vehicle as it is to team Kamaz Master’s rally-ready truck.
The 2021 Dakar Rally is set to start in Jeddah on January 3 and will pause for its rest day in Ha’il on January 9 before completing the last half of the route and finishing back in Jeddah on January 15.