This morning, the Dakar Rally competitors were still 348-kilometres away from a well-deserved day off, which is planned for Saturday. The crews of the Big Shock! Racing experienced some more adrenaline moments in today’s stage. Martin Macik’s yellow truck, after a pursuit and a jump from a two-metre-high ridge, is doing its best to return among the top 10. Today, Macik’s crew reached the finish in 9th position and is 11th in the overall rankings. Martin Soltys, Roman Krejci and Jakub Jirinec returned to the bivouac from the previous stage at night. They did not miss today’s start, but their ride came to an end after they crashed into a ravine hidden on the track and they were unable to finish the stage. Fortunately, all crew members are fine, Martin Soltys has a bruised back, but according to the first examinations, it should not be anything serious.

Martin Macik went down a ridge

Martin Macik’s crew was penalised in the starting field of Stage 6 and dropped to 13th place. They did well on the track today, although their drive was slowed down by a tire change. “It’s still incredibly fast, but we’ve gotten used to it. There were a lot of rocks along the track. We put the hammer down. We had to change one tire, we scraped it somewhere and just to make sure it didn’t blow and destroy something else on the truck, we changed it at about the 180th kilometre. It took us less than five minutes, and then we continued,” Macik described. His crew arrived at the stage finish with a bumped bonnet after one of the jumps over a hidden ridge. “There were about forty or fifty kilometres of awesome dunes at the end of the track. We were riding in the sand with no one in front of us and, suddenly, a ridge appeared about two meters below us. We went down and took a hit on the front of the truck. We almost did a handstand. Luckily, I managed to accelerate, the car went back up, and we kept going,” Martin Macik said at the finish.

Martin Soltys seems to be fine after the first medical examinations.

Martin Soltys, Roman Krejci, and Jakub Jirinec struggled for a few hours in the desert in Stage 5 to repair one of the wheels of their truck called Arnold. They managed to get to the bivouac at 1 in the morning. “Yesterday, at the 190thkilometre, when we jumped over a dune, something cracked in one of the wheels. We stopped and checked if there was anything wrong with the truck. At first, we didn’t notice anything, but then, it turned out that one wheel was cracked and we couldn’t continue. We were repairing it for several hours,” Martin Soltys described. His truck landed in the bivouac at about 1 a.m. But that wasn’t the end of his crew’s ordeal.

“In the morning, we started Stage 6 at about eight o’clock. It went pretty well. The first hundred kilometres were alright, it was going well, we didn’t have any problems, but on the 110th kilometre, we jumped into a ravine. It was a big bump, we jumped, and the front of the truck got stuck in the slope of sand. The truck and my back took the hit. When we climbed out and started dismantling the car, my back kept hurting more and more, and, upon agreement with the crew, we called a helicopter. The doctors said there’s likely nothing broken. Apparently, my back is just bruised, but it hurts. Tomorrow is a day off, so we’ll see how it goes,” Martin Soltys reported. He underwent another examination in the evening, just to be sure because health is the most important thing even at the Dakar rally.

On Saturday, the Dakar crews will have a day off, which is certainly well-deserved this year.

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