There are only three weeks left until the start of the 2022 Dakar. The Big Shock! Racing team is in the final stages of preparation. The racing trucks and support vehicles have sailed off to Jeddah where the famous race will start with a prologue on January 1, 2022. There is no calm before the storm, however – on the contrary, there is still plenty to do. The drivers are preparing in the gym, the mechanics are finalizing service plans, the production team is organizing the “Obsessed with Dakar” events, the next season is being planned, and among all that, some team members are becoming parents again.   

Preparations are in full swing; drivers practice their endurance on their children  

“It’s going to be tough, but it’s going to be a blast, and we’re really looking forward to it. I’m just happy that we made it. We’ve built three new racing trucks. We raced in the planned competitions. We tested everything we needed to. The Big Shock! Racing will have two racing trucks at the Dakar. My dad and I have founded MM Technology after twenty years of development. We’re going to the next Dakar with the biggest team we’ve ever assembled. My daughter is growing up beautifully, and my second daughter has just been born,” the pilot Martin Macik disclosed about his busy year. Like his other two crewmates, navigator Frantisek Tomasek and mechanic David Svanda, he now also has two young daughters at home. He said that the nightly care of them could be included in the systematic preparation for the famous long-distance rally. “My boys and I are looking forward to finally getting some sleep at the Dakar,” the driver laughed. There is already great anticipation among the members of the second crew. It consists of pilot Martin Soltys, navigator Roman Krejci and mechanic Jakub Jirinec, who will experience the Dakar for the first time in the colours of the Big Shock! Racing.

What’s ahead before the Dakar

There is still work to be done before departure. Some team members go to the gym regularly, some have physiotherapy sessions. Service plans and schemes are being finalised, this year for the first time in three languages. The team is also organising the “Obsessed with Dakar” events. Upon returning from Saudi Arabia, if security measures allow, the team wants to meet their fans again and share new experiences. “At the moment, we are also considering taking part in the world cup – the World Rally Raid Championships, which will take place next year under the FIM and FIA. We are therefore looking into all the related organisational details,” the team boss, Martin Macik, Sr, added. The proverbial pile of items someone forgot to pack is also starting to appear in the workshops, as it always does before leaving for Dakar. Everyone adds to it whatever they failed to pack into their cars before they shipped them to Jeddah. “There aren’t many things this year so far. We’ll bring new work overalls and headlamps, but that’s all we’ve got so far. It seems we packed everything,” the mechanic, David Svanda, concluded.

Voluntary Christmas quarantine and a shared plane

A big team meeting took place over the weekend, where all participants in the rally received detailed instructions for the Dakar trip. Before Christmas, just like last year, all team members will voluntarily isolate at home to ensure they will have negative PCR tests for the flight to Jeddah. All Czech drivers will, once again, be transported on a shared plane, which will take off from Prague in the early hours of December 27. All members of the Sedlcany team have been vaccinated, which will greatly facilitate further security measures upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.

Who makes up the team this year? Dakar veterans and hard-working newcomers 

The Big Shock! Racing team, together with the Italtrans team and Project 2030 (for whom the Macik family built trucks in Sedlcany, and for whom they also do the accompanying technical and organizational services), will have a total of 48 members, including 20 mechanics. The Italtrans team has six members, Project 2030 has five. The Big Shock! Racing and MM Technology teams include seasoned Dakar veterans, such as the team boss Martin Macik, Sr. and mechanic Ladislav Fajtl, both of who have already experienced the Dakar twenty times. The manager, Martin Pabiska, will be going to the Dakar for the thirteenth time, and Martin Macik, Jr. will be racing for the tenth time. At the same time, this year, the team has been strengthened by new members who will experience the famous race for the first time. “For example, there will be Martin Barton, who worked with us in the workshops while doing his regular job as a car salesman. At the Dakar, he will be in charge of managing all the support trucks and, at the same time, will take on the responsibility of cleaning the windows. Hynek Cerny, the youngest member of the team, is also going for the first time. He’s an incredibly hard-working twenty-year-old who has already been to Morocco with us. He will be in the assistance car and will also help on the chassis as a mechanic. Last but not least, the team will be joined by six more new, hard-working people. Of course, the familiar mechanics remain: Lavor, Capik, Michal Votruba, Roman Cerny, Frantisek Junek. These are the guys we can always rely on for support,” the driver, Martin Macik, reported.

Before the next Dakar madness breaks out, all team members will regain their strength by the Christmas trees, enjoying some peace and company of their loved ones.

All of us at the Big Shock! Racing team would also like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas time and happy holidays. Thank you for your support. We greatly appreciate it and never take it for granted. We are looking forward to enjoying another Dakar together in January!

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