Martin Macik, Frantisek Tomasek and David Svanda from Big Shock Racing team won the Spanish Baja Aragon Championship, where they raced for the first time in their new Dakar special. In addition to the gold trophy and valuable experience, the race also confirmed that the change of car was a good decision. Charles, an Iveco built by team mechanics, is fast, but at the same time driving it is incredibly comfortable and can save a lot of hard work for the crew, which they will certainly appreciate at the Dakar 2020. ‘We are happy, we have won, and the car is brilliant. Except for one mishap, which I am sorry about because it made the mechanics work up to 5 am, it was great,’ Macik said. The Spanish long-distance rally also revealed a few things on the new truck which the mechanics, under the supervision of team leader Martin Macik Sr., will start working on immediately after returning to the Sedlcany workshops. Charles’s form should be perfectly tuned for the January Dakar.

Friday’s victory with a punctured tire

After the first eventful racing day, which included 2 stages, Martin Macik got from the second starting point to the lead. But it wasn’t easy at all. Charles’s imperfections manifested themselves in the first morning stage in the form of a disobedient wiper fuse, which fell out several times – for example when the crew was driving through a ford, so the truck suddenly turned into a submarine. However, the new mechanic David Svanda proved his worth when he managed to solve the situation while driving. Martin Macik also briefly stopped by Jaroslav Valtra, who was dealing with technical difficulties on the track. ‘Then we went full speed and left everyone at least 10 minutes behind. But 5 km ahead of the finish, on a piston in a bend, we sent it into a hole at 110 km/h. We hit it hard, Charles went all over the place, but we were glad we managed it well. The rear tire got punctured, but we still somehow reached the finish line, actually, as the second in the stage,’ Macik described the unexpected moment of Friday’s part of the rally. The tire got changed during the break, but there was no time for further action. The start of the second part was postponed significantly after the complaints of the buggy racers who felt threatened by the trucks. Therefore, on Friday afternoon the trucks went only after all the buggies, with a few hours delay and had to finish the in the dark. At the 20th km it also turned out that the previous collision had broken Charles’s servo, so Martin had to finish the route without driving support. ‘It was incredibly tough on my arms, but we made it and finished first. Charles was great, the track was surprisingly difficult and treacherous this year, so all in all great practice for Dakar. That’s the way it should be,’ Macík concluded.

Saturday without braking

On Saturday, the second day of the rally, Baja Aragon started with a shorter 80 km track, and concluded in the afternoon with a 160 km route. Even in the first stage on Saturday, Charles and his crew retained the first place, but it did not come easy. ‘It was incredible. Sharp turns, lot of work for the brakes. The road was narrower than the truck, at a ford the water lifted the bonnet half a meter in the air, there were stones everywhere, which can easily break through your tire and one puncture can lose you the entire race,’ the navigator Frantisek Tomasek said. During the longer afternoon part, there was an issue with the brakes, a consequence of the driving in the broken terrain full of stones. ‘We had high braking temperatures, so they didn’t work exactly as they should have. Therefore, we finished the rest of the race at a reasonable speed. We were fairly fast, as it is not possible without risk in this sport, but we were more careful,’ the new mechanic David Svanda reported. Jaroslav Valtr arrived in the last stage a few seconds before the crew of the Sedlcany team. The overall victory in Baja Aragon was, however, Martin Macik’s and his team’s.

Further plans

Baja Aragon started the racing season. At the end of August, the Big Shock Racing team is taking part in the Baja Poland. Martin Macik, Frantisek Tomasek and David Svanda will also compete with Charles in October at the Rally du Maroc. All team members are looking forward to enjoying the Moroccan marathon with biker Jan Brabec, who is recovering from a recent injury. Then, it will be time for the Dakar 2020 in Saudi Arabia, after which our competitors will again meet their fans on their tour ‘Obsessed with Dakar’.