FORT MILL, S.C. – January 26, 2018. On January 20, Eduard Nikolaev’s crew from the legendary Russian KAMAZ-Master team won the Truck category of the Dakar 2018 rally, marking his personal third win and the fourteenth win for the team. Two of the team’s trucks, driven by A. Mardeev and D. Sotnikov, were fitted with Continental HCS tires, and all trucks were equipped with the ContiPressureCheck tire monitoring system, helping propel the team to victory.
The 9,300 km (5,800 mile) Dakar race is almost as long as an entire World Rally Championship season, with the 2018 course running from Lima, Peru, through Bolivia, and ending in Cordoba, Argentina. Two KAMAZ-Master trucks ran the 14-day race on Continental HCS tires, which are designed for off-road use with outstanding resistance to damage via specialized tread compounds and enormous traction thanks to tread pattern structure and geometry.
The KAMAZ-Master 980-horsepower racing truck, which debuted in the Dakar 2017 race, is capable of reaching speeds close to 100 mph, making safety and reliability of the tires paramount. Continental HCS tires demonstrated their durability across challenging terrain, including 7 stages of sand dunes, the high altitudes and rocky crags of the Andes Mountains, and the Super Fiambala area of Argentina.
In addition to providing tires with the advanced durability and traction required for the Dakar Rally, Continental also equipped the KAMAZ-Master trucks with the ContiPressureCheck tire monitoring system, which the team claims contributed to their victory. Winning driver Eduard Nikolaev explains, "We efficiently use the benefits provided by ContiPressureCheck. The information from the sensors enables us to choose the right tactics: sometimes we decide not to stop despite a puncture, because the sensor metrics show that tire pressure is still controllable enough to finish the race. The possibility of measuring each tire’s temperature and not allowing its destruction is highly important to us. We started using ContiPressureCheck actively at Silk Way 2017 and immediately felt a real impact from the information about tire condition on our race performance." The winning KAMAZ-Master crew had a final time of 54 hours, 57 minutes and 37 seconds, nearly four hours ahead of the closest competitor. The other crew of KAMAZ‑Master, headed by Airat Mardeev, was also successful: they took third place in the race.
The ContiPressureCheck tire pressure and temperature monitoring system used by KAMAZ-Master was not modified for the race; it is the same technology available to all Continental customers worldwide. The system relies on sensors installed in the tires to display real-time temperature and pressure data for each wheel position. Each sensor has a separate battery, which ensures constant operation for up to 6 years or around 400,000 miles. Data from the sensors is transmitted to the central control unit as well as potentially a connected telematics system. In this case, a system developed by KAMAZ-Master engineers was used to obtain the data in order to unify it with the other control elements.
The product cooperation between Continental and KAMAZ-Master fully reflects the strategic agenda of Continental’s Commercial Vehicle Tires business: the transformation from a trusted and sophisticated supplier of tires to a solutions provider for holistic solutions aimed at increasing the efficiency of fleet operations.
“Continental is proud to be a supplier of the KAMAZ-Master team,” said Paul Williams, executive vice president of Continental commercial vehicle tires in the Americas. “By combining our proven tire performance with innovative tire pressure monitoring technology, we were able to help the team save time during the race. In the same way, this combination can help all of our customers increase uptime, as well as significantly extend the tread life of their tires and reduce fuel costs.”
One of the largest automotive suppliers and tire manufacturers in the world, Continental develops pioneering technologies to make fleets safer, more efficient, and more connected. With innovative tire technology and digital fleet solutions, Continental optimizes tire lifecycle management.
Continental Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. In 2017, Continental generated preliminary sales of around €44 billion and currently employs more than 233,000 people in 56 countries.
The Tire Division currently has more than 24 production and development locations worldwide. The broad product range and continuous investments in R&D make a major contribution to cost-effective and ecologically efficient mobility. As one of the world's leading tire manufacturers with around 52,000 employees, the Tire Division achieved sales of €10.7 billion in 2016.
Continental Commercial Vehicle Tires is one of the largest manufacturers of truck, bus and commercial specialty tires worldwide. The business unit is continuously developing from a pure tire manufacturer to a solution provider, offering a broad range of products, services and tire-related solutions.