The start of the 42nd Dakar Rally is quickly approaching. The Big Shock Racing team therefore met their fans at the Prague Auto Club to celebrate the final preparations for the Dakar 2020 and agree on how to help the fans and themselves enjoy the most challenging motoring race in the world to the fullest. Before leaving for Saudi Arabia where Dakar will start in the second largest city Jeddah on January 5, a lot still remains to be done. The mechanics, including David Svanda, who will become the 3rd member of the crew, are spending their days tweaking Charles, the new Dakar special. The physical preparation of the truck driver Martin Macik and motorcycle rider Jan Brabec is also culminating. Fans are already looking forward to the latest public training and ‘Obsessed with Dakar’ panels. At the same time, the Big Shock Racing team with association of the RMD CR are launching a new project called ‘Respect Road – don’t race on the road’, which promotes the consideration of drivers on Czech roads and helps to manage dangerous situations in normal traffic.

What needs to be done before Dakar?

Dakar fans will meet at the last training session which will take place in the Sedlcany valley on November 23 and will be open to everyone who comes to say goodbye to the Big Shock Racing team just before they send off the racing machines to Saudi Arabia. The mechanics still have some time to finish any last-minute adjustments. Everything has to be done by December 5, when the scrutineering takes place at the French circuit in Castellet. Subsequently, the racing and accompanying machines are loaded on a ferry to embark on a cruise to Jeddah. Logistics will be simplified compared to the South American rallies, transport will be a few weeks shorter and competitors will have their cars available for longer time. Big Shock Racing will travel to Saudi Arabia in three waves. ‘After Christmas, Martin Macik with Frantisek Tomasek and Jan Brabec will fly there to acclimatize. The second group arrives on New Year’s Eve and picks up the equipment. The last group will arrive just before the start of the race,’ Martin Macik senior, Big Shock Racing team boss, explained. The good news for the fans is that the time shift at the venue will only be +2 hours, so they will be able to cheer on their favourites without staying up all night.

Don’t race on the road

The time before Dakar is challenging, all team members are busy. It is especially true for the truck pilot Martin Macik – besides physical preparation and organizational duties, he also deals with the production of ‘Obsessed with Dakar’ panels. He also decided to use the popularity of Dakar to increase the consideration and mutual respect of drivers on our roads. In cooperation with the Road and Motorway Directorate of the Czech Republic, it launched the project ‘Respect Road – Don’t race on the road’.

‘Every day, I meet drivers who unnecessarily threaten others and create really dangerous situations on the road. For what – getting to work a couple of minutes earlier? I dare say that I have a lot of driving experience, I know how cars react in extreme conditions, at high speeds. I know how little it takes for an irreversible tragedy to happen. I saw people never making it across the finish line. I’m certain that the drivers who can keep their calm and show respect to others are the real winners on the roads,’ Martin Macik said, adding: ‘The Big Shock Racing team has hundreds of thousands of great fans who wish us well, they’re supporting and believe in the same values we do. I think my efforts in this could be close to them and together we could improve the current situation a bit.’ According to him, special attention should be paid to mutual understanding and respect between truck and passenger drivers. Therefore, Martin is preparing videos to help cope with dangerous driving situations and wants to encourage social networking discussions on topics such as overtaking, keeping a safe distance or driving attention.

In short, there is a lot of work to do, but all Big Shock Racing team members are moving their energy towards the January adventure that they will experience together with the fans. For those who wish to support the Czech team during the Dakar 2020 and join in discussions, a Facebook group has been created, and the fans can also join the community of Obsessed with Dakar.