Everything is going according to plan. The Big Shock! Racing team, along with other Czech competitors, landed in Jeddah shortly after noon today, where the 44th Dakar Rally will start on January 1. The Sedlcany team is prepared better than ever for the most demanding race of the year. This time, two crews will compete in the yellow-and-black trucks. Martin Soltys, who finished in 10th at the 2021 Dakar, joins the driver Martin Macik, who managed to win a great 4th position. The Big Shock! Racing team jumped right into the Dakar rhythm after landing in Jeddah and got to work to catch up with all the pre-start duties. The time remaining until the New Year’s prologue is now precisely planned, and everyone knows what to do.         

From the harbour to the shakedown and inspections

At the local marina, the Big Shock! Racing team was waiting for the trucks, a camper van and Iveco support vehicles that carry spare parts. The equipment had been sailing to Saudi Arabia from Marseille for several weeks. For the Czech expedition, landing after a 9-hour flight from the freezing Prague in the warm Jeddah was a bit of a shock. However, there was not much room for acclimatization. The expedition went straight from the airport to pick up all the vehicles. “So far, all the cars seem to have survived the voyage safely. We only found out that someone had torn off the rear underride, the protective ramp, a piece of iron on the service MAN. But that was the only problem we found so far, otherwise, all seems good,” Martin Macik described. The team stopped to refuel and then headed straight for the bivouac. On Tuesday, they will start preparing for Wednesday’s shakedown, where the crews will test the specials in the local terrain for the first time. On Thursday, all vehicles will undergo final technical tuning before Friday’s technical checks. On New Year’s Day, the 2022 Dakar will finally kick off with the opening prologue from Jeddah to Ha’il, covering 834 kilometres in the truck category, 19 of which will be timed.

We are looking forward to the track

“Honestly, I’m looking forward to the Dakar finally starting. Even though we know it’s going to hurt a lot. I’m hoping that the physical preparation I’ve been doing will help at least partially. But I need to get a good night’s sleep and rest before it all starts. We expect this Dakar to be demanding right from the start,” the driver, Martin Macik, said. He will be accompanied in the cabin by his loyal colleagues – navigator Frantisek Tomasek and mechanic David Svanda. His teammate shares Martin’s feelings: “I’m looking forward to the Dakar. The time before departure is always a bit nerve-wracking, we’re thinking whether we had packed everything. So, I’m glad that we are already safe and sound in Saudi Arabia, and the Dakar will start soon,” Martin Soltys, whose crew consists of the navigator Roman Krejci and mechanic Jakub Jirinec.

Despite the busy schedule, the Big Shock! Racing team was in a good mood on the first day after arriving in Jeddah. Everyone bought local SIM cards to keep in touch, Martin Macik was reunited with his computer (which he had forgotten on the plane), and everyone enjoyed burgers at a local fast-food restaurant.

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