Name: Eduard Nikolaev
Date of Birth: August 21, 1984
Machine: 4328 Kamaz
Debut: 2011 Buenos Aires (Argentina) to Buenos Aires. Finished third
Best Dakar: Third place finish in 2011
2012 Dakar Number: #500
Eduard was invited to join the Kamaz family by team leader Semen Yakubov after impressive performances in the Russian Karting Championship. Eduard’s first job with Team Kamaz was to ride shotgun as part of Vladimir Chagin’s crew. Acting as Chagin’s mechanic gave Eduard a first class education of what it takes to get the best out of the Kamaz machine.
When Eduard was given the chance to take the controls of his own Kamaz truck the result was immediate success. The Silk Way Rally was tamed by Eduard in 2010 as he crossed the finish line in Sochi as champion. Later that year Eduard was back in Chagin’s crew and got his first taste of a Dakar victory.
At last year’s Dakar Rally Eduard made his debut behind the wheel and played his part in a Kamaz one-two-three on the final leaderboard. With the legendary Chagin absent this year there’s every chance Eduard to can take his place at the top of the podium.
Also sitting in truck #500 at the 2012 Dakar is the vastly experienced co-pilot Sergey Savostin and Vladimir Rybakov who served as Eduard’s mechanic during the 2012 Silk Way win.
Fast Fact: Eduard’s dad Valentin Nikolaev is a legend of Russian motorsport with six National Buggy Championship titles to his name. Following in his father’s footsteps and also those of Vladimir Chagin has seen Eduard given the nickname Tsarevich (Son of the Tsar).
Lord of the Rings: “The Dakar has always been my big project, it’s my Olympic Games! I’m so pleased to have the exact same truck and the same crew that I had when I won the 2010 Silk Way. Because of my limited Dakar experience finishing the race may be my first aim. When that is done we can see where I sit on the leaderboard. It’s great to have the whole Kamaz Team with me because the guys have so much knowledge to share.”