VTB has given its traditional support to KAMAZ-Master team for the last three years as its Official Partner. The sponsorship in favour of the Russian crew is a logical step in further cooperation between VTB Group and KAMAZ, a major Russian car-making group.
VTB and KAMAZ have been linked for several years by mutually rewarding partnership relations. Late in 2002, a Programme of Cooperation was signed between the Bank and KAMAZ under which lending, leasing and documentary transactions were made exceeding USD 750 million. In addition, VTB Bank took part in bonded debt arrangements for KAMAZ-Finance totalling RUR 2.7 billion. Now, VTB is funding a project to start and develop a new generation of increased carriage capacity cars “KAMAZ-6520”. The Bank implemented a payroll project at KAMAZ Group enterprises, with more than 30,000 bank cards issued. In 2006, VTB Bank and its subsidiary, VTB Europe, were arrangers of a dual-currency syndicated loan for KAMAZ Group of USD 100 million. The loan was made in two currencies – US Dollars and Euros (50 and 40 million, accordingly).
«VTB’s focus is to support priority sectors of the national economy, to which, undoubtedly, the car-building belongs, and implementation of the transport strategy in Russia heavily depends on its development. KAMAZ-Master team gained a great deal of victories at international rallies. It demonstrates that KAMAZ products are able to meet most aggressive leadership competition with global car-makers. We are sure of further success of the racing crew and superb quality of KAMAZ cars, and we highly appreciate prospects for KAMAZ Group development,” said VTB Chairman and CEO Andrey Kostin at a farewell ceremony of KAMAZ-Master team traditionally held near the Red Square on 22 December to depart for the 30th anniversary Lisbon Dakar Rally.
KAMAZ-Master racing crew is a multiple prize-winner and seven-time champion of Dakar transcontinental marathon. No other Russian sport team has been able to achieve such results in world-wide competitions. Today, the team has seven masters of sports and eight world-class masters of sports. Moreover, sustained efforts are being made to prepare a new generation of racers who are to follow honoured team veterans.
With their debut twenty years ago as a factory team, the racers are still loyal to KAMAZ. They do not invite third party racers, relying upon themselves and driving KAMAZ trucks, competing with rivals using vehicles of such global car-makers as Mercedes-Benz, MAN, Renault, DAF, GINAF, Mitsubishi, Tatra, and Iveco.
In the 2008 Dakar Rally, KAMAZ-Master will be traditionally represented by two racing crews and a technical support team. The first crew will be composed, as usual, of Kabirov, Beliayev and Mokeyev, gold medalists in the 2005 Dakar Rally. The second crew, headed by Ilguizar Mardeyev, will include young, but promising racers – Vyacheslav Miziukayev and Andrey Karguinov. The team head, Semion Yakubov, will join the crew for the first time as a team manager instead of being a pilot due to injuries received in the 2007 Dakar Rally. However, in his opinion, the approved KAMAZ-Master crew is the optimum one to fight to become again a Dakar prize-winner.