Dakar

Used Dakar Rally tyres see action in Ukrainian service

2 Mins read
Credit: Benediktas Vanagas

BFGoodrich is the official tyre supplier of the Dakar Rally, having won the legendary rally raid eighteen time since 1993. For the 2023 edition, the Michelin-owned American tyre company provided three sets of varying dimensions to meet the demands of the Saudi desert. The top entries like winner Nasser Al-Attiyah‘s Toyota Hilux DKR T1+ used the All-Terrain T/A KDR2+, which came in soft and medium compounds and were sixteen inches wide.

In the weeks following the Rally, fellow Hilux driver Benediktas Vanagas found a new purpose for his Dakar tyres outside of competition: on the wheels of off-road vehicles used by the Ukrainian Army.

He wrote on social media, “Do you know where the used Dakar tyres go? For a second life in Ukraine! Although heavier than normal tyres, they are much more durable than standard off-road tyres. Soldiers appreciate it a lot.”

Vanagas, a member of the Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces, has been one of Ukraine’s biggest supporters from the motorsport world long before Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022. Among his contributions since the war’s escalation are equipment for the Ukrainian military like night-vision gear and generators, along with off-road trucks. In January, he auctioned off the fender from his Dakar Hilux as well as a baseball cap and shirt autographed by Al-Attiyah, with the proceeds going to relief efforts.

On Monday, Vanagas’ sponsor Vostok Europe launched a second line of Ukrainian-themed watches with the goal of raising €70,000 for medical supplies. The watchmaker’s first series of limited-edition timepieces generated €60,000 for a military hospital in Starokostiantyniv in 2022.

Besides the different compounds, the DKR2+ exists in sixteen- and seventeen-inch sizes with the latter being intended for two-wheel-drive vehicles. The sixteen-inch version is used for the Hilux as an AWD truck, with an aspect ratio of 245/80-16. BFGoodrich also supplied the Mud-Terrain T/A KM3, which is available for public use, and the KM3 SSV for those competing in the T3 and T4 categories.

It has been a year since the invasion began, resulting in massive repercussions globally that also impacted the racing community. The 2023 Dakar Rally did not feature longtime T5 powerhouse KAMAZ-master or many Russian competitors save for some who agreed to condemn the conflict like Denis Krotov and his co-driver Konstantin Zhiltsov, both of whom are racing for the World Rally-Raid Championship in T1, and Alexey Kuzmich, who is Yasir Seaidan‘s navigator for the 2023 W2RC season.

Follow @TCFoffroad: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Avatar photo
3760 posts

About author
Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
Articles
Related posts
Dakar

Fesh Fesh to field FF7 at 2025 Dakar Rally

1 Mins read
Tomáš Vrátný will race the 2025 Dakar Rally in a new truck dubbed the Tatra FF7 prepared by Fesh Fesh team.
Dakar

ASO begins accepting 2025 Dakar Rally hopefuls

3 Mins read
Willem Avenant, Justin Gerlach, Robbie Wallace and many more will finally realise their Dakar Rally dreams in 2025 after their applications were accepted by race organisers.
Dakar

Tweaked route, new race director for T5.2 trucks at 2025 Dakar

1 Mins read
T5.2 trucks, which are assistance vehicles unlike the racing T5.1 ones, will have a different route for the Chrono Stage at the 2025 Dakar Rally along with their own race director.