N°241 Auto KREDA

ANTANAS JUKNEVICIUS

(ltu) 1.7m / 70kg

Loisirs

Dune driving, motorsport, extreme sport, survival skills

Sponsors

KREDA, Alwark, Zalvaris, Dell Technologies, Viada, Manvesta, Kärcher, Shell-Helix, Trygg, Skuba, Solitek

2021: 23rd
2020: 20th
2019: 35th
2018: 12th
2017: 21st
2016: 27th
2015: 60th
2014: 56th
2009: 25th (co-driver for Aurelijus Petraitis)
2004: Ab. (co-driver for Aurelijus Petraitis)
2003: 61st (co-driver for Aurelijus Petraitis)

2017: Rally Kazakhstan (6th)
2016: Rally Kazakhstan (3rd, 1st T2 class)
2011: Baja Poland (2nd, T2 class)
2011: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (6th, 1st in class)
2008: Libya Desert Challenge (1st)
2007: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (7th)
2006: Oman Desert Challenge (2nd)
2005: Pharaohs Rally Egypt (7th)
2005: Optic2000 Tunis (8th)
Lithuanian Rally-Raid Champion (2004)
3 x Lithuanian Trophy-Raid champion (2002, 2003, 2004)

Interview

“I want the Dakar to be as hard as possible”

Antanas Juknevicius has been a Dakar regular for almost 20 years, and the Lithuanian relishes the challenge of the world's toughest offroad rally. He made his debut as a co-driver for Aurelijus Petraitis in 2003 and got behind the wheel himself in 2014, coming as high as 12th in the cars in 2018. As well as posting consistent results, the 47-year-old has helped to grow the popularity of rally raid back home in Lithuania, to the extent that the Baltic nation is sending four car drivers and a truck crew to Dakar 2022. However, Antanas has been a little underwhelmed with the first two editions in Saudi Arabia, saying they lacked the difficulty of previous editions in Africa and South America. He is hoping for a harder, more authentic Dakar experience in 2022 as he is joined by a new co-driver. With his usual partner Darius Vaiciulis taking part in an Antarctic expedition to the South Pole to raise money for Save the Children, Antanas has turned to Didzis Zarins, from neighbouring Latvia, who already has several Dakar participations under his belt. Antanas will be competing in the same Toyota Overdrive Hilux as last year, although he will be keeping a close eye on the battle between the buggies and the new T1+ cars, which will help him decide in which kind of new vehicle the Kreda team should invest for Dakar 2023.

A.J.: “We only have a few experienced Dakar co-drivers in Lithuania. One is mine, Darius, who cannot go this year, and the second is Zala's co-driver, Saulius Jurgelenas, but he's injured. So I focused on our neighbours Latvia. Zarins is one of the best, he's done the Dakar several times, and I believe he has the best Latvian result as a co-driver. We're neighbouring countries, so we are like brothers.
I want the Dakar to be as hard as possible, as hard as hell! When it's too easy, there's no sense to it, there's no motivation. But I still want to come and see. Maybe they found some nice places. We'll try to do our best, but even to be in the top 20 will be very tough. There are 20-25 cars right up there technically, and our car is from 2011, it's old as hell, so I can't really count on a good position. It's a very good car, well built, but a bit too outdated. We were pretty sure we would change it, but the announcements in the spring were a little bit unexpected. T1+ was launched, so we skipped the plan to change the car, because we knew there was nothing we could buy. Nobody sells T1+ stuff yet, everyone will just be testing this time. So we will be watching the performances and seeing which teams are ahead of the game. And next year we'll change to T1+ or buggy. This year I just want to have good time, a nice experience, and understand what we need to buy for next year. It's an important step to see how we have to evolve.”

D.Z.: “It's fantastic that after many years, Latvia will be back on the Dakar. It's a proud moment not just for me, but for the whole country. When Antanas approached me about becoming his co-driver, I didn't have to think about it for very long. I agreed immediately because it's an unforgettable adventure; I have vivid memories of every Dakar. Antanas is one of the most experienced Lithuanian drivers. I'm glad that we'll get a chance to conquer the Saudi desert together, and I think we'll have a successful partnership."

Véhicule

KREDA

TOYOTA HILUX 2016 IRS MODEL
KREDA

  • TOYOTA
  • HILUX 2016 IRS MODEL
  • VSI Dakaras LT
  • VSI Dakaras LT
  • : 4x4 Essence et Diesel

Classement 2022

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