Tuesday’s Stage 3 of the Dakar Rally was dramatic. Both Big Shock! Racing teams experienced some roadbook malfunctions in the early part of the route. Nevertheless, the driver Martin Macik, navigator Frantisek Tomasek and mechanic David Svanda got to the end of the stage near the village of Al Qaisumah at a decent pace as the 8thfastest. Martin Soltys, Roman Krejci, and Jakub Jirinec in the truck called Arnold did well despite complications with navigation. At the end of the stage, they took 14th place, and 16th in the overall rankings. 

Frantisek Tomasek had to do some guessing

On Tuesday, the Big Shock! Racing crew of Macik, Tomasek, and Svanda started the 368-kilometre- long track from the 7th position in a good mood. However, that changed as soon as they got on the track and realised that their roadbook was not working. “I managed to get us through the first sixty kilometres today without the roadbook, just relying on my eyes. Then the device calibrated in the neutralisation and started working again. It seems it was the organiser’s fault. Being a good tracker, I basically had to sniff the checkpoints out. We didn’t know where we were going, we were flying through the air, but in the end, it turned out well,” Frantisek Tomasek described his hard moments as a navigator today and added: “We’re still fighting, just like the others, we’re eighth – not bad for a start. We have only finished the third stage, and we can still push some more.” Martin Macik added to his report from the track:  “Another fast stage with more treacherous dunes that are not so easy to cross because they are wet. You have to find the right rhythm to get over them. We came into the neutralisation at 140 kilometres per hour all at once, and after the exit, we had a nice race. But for the last fifty kilometres, Charles wasn’t going at hundred per cent, and we lost about twelve minutes. We are still fighting, we still have most of the Dakar ahead of us.”

Soltys with no blown tires, no technical problems, and also no navigation 

Martin Soltys’ race truck started from 11th place on Tuesday. Unfortunately, his crew faced the same navigational issues as his teammates. “It was a fast, hard stage again today. When we started, we realised that our roadbook wasn’t working. So, we were following the clues. It wasn’t until the neutralisation that we managed to get the roadbook up and running, and it worked for the rest of the route. But we were a little bit upset and lost some time, which was reflected in the result. Otherwise, it was good, without any technical problems or punctured tires,” Martin Soltys reported at the finish.

Let’s race in trucks throughout the whole year

Martin Macik’s crew also received awards for stage wins in the T5 category of the 2022 World Rally-Raid Championship, which Dakar is now a part of. It will be followed by the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Rally Kazakhstan and Rallye du Maroc. “There are currently five crews registered, and Martin Soltys and I are among the pioneers. We are at the beginning of something new, we know that our award is still rather symbolic, but we would like to let others know that there is an opportunity to race in trucks throughout the year, and we will be happy if they join us,” Martin Macik said.

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