THE RETURN OF THE LEGEND: LADA NIVA conquered Dakar-2022
January 17, 2022
On January 14, the NIVA Red Legend Team, a private team from Switzerland with the support of the LADA brand has successfully finished in the Classic category of the famous Dakar-2022 rally marathon in Saudi Arabia.
The 1984 LADA NIVA SUV was found and purchased by the pilot of the team Mario Jacober in Novosibirsk, while visiting his wife`s relatives. There, the car was rebuilt into a rally raid one. The main changes affected the body, interior, engine cooling system, while the engine itself, transmission, suspension and braking system of the car remained the standard ones. The NIVA Red Legend name and identity in the spirit of the 80s of the twentieth century when the LADA NIVA actively participated in rally raids were developed together with the LADA brand. The crew went all the way under the starting number ''763'' – the automobile index of the Samara region, which is the place of origin of the legendary SUV, has the same code.
Both Mario Jacober and Sladan Milic (the navigator of the crew) highly appreciated the reliability of the car. Niva was not afraid of sands, rocks, asphalt and deadly off-road in conditions of sizzling heat and torrential rains. During the passage of the route, the crew has never encountered serious breakdowns at a distance.
“We have made a long way: from the decision to participate in the Dakar-2022 rally last winter to our triumphant finish in the legendary rally marathon! Our crew managed to fulfill our dream and pass the rally to the end. After all, the main thing in Dakar is not even to win and not to take the podium, but to get to the finish line. And we owe a lot to our LADA NIVA. We are grateful to all our partners and, of course, our families for the support”, Mario Jacober, pilot of the NIVA Red Legend Team, shared his impressions.
“It was really exciting and emotional race. Narrow canyons, sand dunes, sharp rocks have tickled the nerves of the fans and cause a lot of trouble to the team. My applause to the professionalism of the pilots of the NIVA Red Legend Team and, of course, to our legendary SUV. Thanks for a beautiful race, thanks for an impressive finish. I honestly hope that in the next seasons of the Dakar Rally we will see even more participants performing on the iconic NIVA Legend, and one day, perhaps, the LADA Sport factory team. Follow our news”, AVTOVAZ President Nicolas Maure commented on the race.