In Stage 4, the organisers of the Dakar Rally prepared the longest route of the entire race. It was clear that the 465-kilometre-route would be extremely challenging. For the Big Shock! Racing crews, it was the biggest adrenaline test yet, but in the end, they managed it brilliantly. Thanks to their teamwork, technical skills, and tenacity, the Czech crews coped even in situations that seemed hopeless. The driver Martin Macik, navigator Frantisek Tomasek and mechanic David Svanda had to deal with the exhaust that was burning holes in the air hoses. Eventually, the skilful hands of the Czech mechanics, a sophisticated improvement, and the help of teammate Martin Soltys, who shared some parts, contributed to Martin Macik’s managing to finish in 21st place and maintain his valuable 11th position overall. Martin Soltys, Roman Krejci, and Jakub Jirinec successfully finished the stage in 25th place and are 18th overall. All drivers of the Big Shock! Racing team were eventually reunited safely at the finish.

The power of having two trucks in the race

Today’s Stage 4 showed why the Dakar is considered the toughest rally in the world. It also proved just how helpful the cooperation of two crews in the racing field can be. Martin Macik had a great start to today’s stage. “Right from the start, it was amazing, very fast. We had a bit of a day in the air, jumping over the tops of the shortcuts with holes hiding behind them. We took a lot of hits. One was particularly strong,” the Sedlcany driver explained. But suddenly, about 340 kilometres in, the car started making strange noises. The crew stopped and discovered that the exhaust had loosened and a hole had formed, driving hot air onto the air hoses that started burning through, which also affected the brakes. “We had to stop and repair it. But the hoses kept burning through again and again. So, we came up with a different solution. We broke down the box we’d had in the cabin and made a protective barrier out of the lid, which we put on the exhaust. Marty Soltys helped us, too – he stopped by and gave us all his spare parts that we could use for the repair. A huge thank you to him,” Macik said. His crew managed to reach the finish with the temporarily repaired truck, excited they had just gained some new stories for their ‘Obsessed with Dakar’ events.

Martin Soltys’ crew helped out

No one had it easy on the track today. Even Martin Soltys’ crew has gained plenty of new experiences today. “It was a long day. I don’t even know where to start. The first part of the route was broken, very fast and bouncy. Everybody was flying in through the air. We blew a tire after about a hundred kilometres. But we quickly changed it and kept going,” Martin Soltys reported. Then the crew members noticed Martin Macik standing on the track and stopped by him. “Their air hoses were cracked and burnt, so we helped to repair them. Then they drove a few kilometres and it happened again. So, we repaired it once more. Then they took off smoothly. But then we were missing parts that we had given Martin when we ran into similar problems. So, we fretted about it for a while, but we managed. We were finishing the stage in the dark, but we’re here, so that’s great. Tomorrow, we go again,” Martin Soltys described the events of today’s stage.

The MM Technology mechanics will have a tough shift tonight, but no one doubts that both Charles and Arnold will be ready for Stage 5 in top condition again tomorrow. And the rested crews will once again take to the challenging Dakar track with full commitment.

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