The third stage of Dakar was a success for the crew of the Sedlany Big Shock! Racing team. They reached the finish an excellent 4th place and also hold the 4th position in the overall ranking. The driver Martin Macik, navigator Frantisek Tomasek and mechanic David Svanda did great again in the no. 503 Iveco truck. Although they flew through the air several times, they were only able to conquer some dunes on the second try and they nearly flipped the truck onto its side once. They eventually finished the tricky stage in excellent time and without much hesitation. Charles, their truck, also seems to be working well and has so far been reliable, bravely competing with the fastest factory specials. 

I thought we’d flip the truck onto its side

On Tuesday’s route around Wadi Ad-Dawasir, in total 403 racing kilometres, Martin Macik’s yellow truck fought to the top positions in the truck category. They managed the introductory dangerous rocky trial, which leads into the dunes in wide sand slabs. “Today we drove through very difficult dunes. We had to reverse twice. We did a few jumps. In one big dune, I thought we were going to flip the truck onto its side. The track was very rugged, there were insane rocks, where we had to climb again – we tried all the terrain types. The wind was also very strong, so the tracks were covered. We definitely made a few mistakes there, but it was a good drive, very calm actually,”Martin Macik described just after reaching the stage. The track was again quite fast in some places, the order in the category of trucks was balanced, so it was just a matter of who would make a bigger mistake. Luckily, the Big Shock! Racing team managed to avoid making any big ones today.

An introduction we have not experienced before

The bivouac of the Big Shock! Racing team continues to host a calm and cheerful atmosphere. “We are already a mature team, so there are no stressful situations. When I look at the results, I do not remember our car ever doing this well from the very beginning. There are a lot of valuable things to learn from. It is interesting to see how the leading drivers work together and what is happening at the top of the leader board,” the team manager Martin Pabiska explained. Moreover, the technical mystery of the previous stage has been solved. The vibration of the truck was due to one loose beadlock on the front tire. The repair only took a moment. “Technology is still incredible. I think that after the years I have been taking part in Dakar, I can say that this year, the car is prepared extremely well. Now it shows that Kocour, i.e. Martin Macik, Sr. and his team did the best they could with Charles, considering the conditions,” Martin Pabiska added. Nevertheless, all team members keep their feet firmly on the ground. Also, thanks to their previous experience, they know very well that the Dakar has only just begun and everything can change within a few kilometres, in a single stage.

Video about 3rd stage here.