On Saturday, it was a day off on Dakar, which in reality means no driving for the competitors, but everyone was equally busy in the bivouac. Truck driver Martin Macik, who currently holds the 5th overall position, was in charge of the laundry, solved several organizational issues in the Czech Republic and also tried to give back to the fans – at least partially – for the huge support they have been giving the whole team during the race. Martin Pabiska, the team manager, has already planned an itinerary for the 7th stage. The navigator Frantisek Tomasek, as the main recorder of experiences for Obsessed with Dakar, recorded all his recent adventures in his notebooks and in the afternoon, he went through the roadbook for the next stage. The busiest, however, was the onboard mechanic David Svanda, who was on standby from the early morning and along with the other mechanics was examining the team truck according to a predetermined plan and made sure Charles was in the best shape possible. We could not reach Jan Brabec until late afternoon. He devoted the day off to have a proper rest. After his recent injury, his need for good rest is much greater than in previous years. In the meantime, the mechanics were working hard on his KTM bike, Agnes. 

Mechanics don’t have a day off

David Svanda, together with the mechanics, started working on the team truck right after the finish of Friday’s stage and they did not finish until midnight. Even on Saturday morning, they did not get much time to sleep. Immediately after an early breakfast, they rushed to the truck again. “We have to replace many parts before the second half of the race as a precautionary measure. We go through the propeller, everything in the engine is checked, as are the charges. We have to check if the sand is not where it should not be, we change the filters and other components. We’re also putting on a new top cover to make Charles look good if we are in the front in the second part and they shoot us on video from the helicopter,” David Svanda, a cabin mechanic, laughed while describing the truck service.

Do the laundry, call home and run errands

After the first half of the Dakar, the Big Shock Racing team is in a good mood and they still seem to be in good physical shape. “I don’t even need to go to physiotherapy this year, that’s how good I’m feeling. The long stages hurt a bit towards the end but compared to previous years, the ride is much more comfortable,” the navigator Frantisek Tomasek said. “We have to wash and clean our overalls, shoes, and helmets to look good again. The organizers have a laundry room here, so we took all our things there yesterday and got them back today all nice and clean and ironed. We’re planning a live broadcast for the fans. We want to thank them for the huge support they have been giving us. In the meantime, I’m still arranging some things for the Obsessed with Dakar sessions. They will start as soon as we return home,” Martin Macik described. Today, all team members also had time to call home and reassure their relatives that they were all right. One of the frequently asked questions is how they can handle the first half of Dakar without alcohol, especially without beer. They unanimously answered that it is not a problem. “I drink about two beers and two shots a year, so I don’t miss it. Of the mechanics, it is probably Frantisek Junk who misses beer the most, but he’s doing well. We’ve partially replaced the beer with coffee and Big Shock,” David Svanda reported.

On Sunday morning, the Big Shock Racing team will set off for stage 7 to Wadi Al Dawasir and enjoy 546 rough kilometres, which should lead through varied terrain with dunes and intricate navigation. “We are already looking forward to it. We would like for the second part to be more navigationally and technically demanding, as the organizers had promised us. So far, we have experienced mainly fast stages, comparable in navigation with the previous years,” Macik, who has so far been satisfied with the development of Dakar, concluded.

Watch the video from the REST DAY!