Big Shock Racing team returned from African testing with many interesting insights. Martin Macik first took a ride in the sand dunes in his new truck called Charles. The challenging 14-day training was meant to reveal the weaknesses of the Dakar special on which team mechanics will start working immediately after returning to Sedlcany. The performance of the new truck confirmed that changing vehicles was the right decision, as the new special will be faster and more comfortable. Jan Brabec also drove his motorbike for a week in the dunes around the Ksar Ghilane oasis. But then a sand-covered stone crossed his path and sent him to the local hospital. There he then tested especially his pain threshold. Fortunately, it turned out that Jan Brabec can even fall in the right way. A couple of broken bones was a fairly positive result of his training flight and it looks like Jan will be back on his bike by Dakar 2020.

Charles will be a handful

Martin Macík started to bond with his new racing truck during the 1700 km long ride to the Tunisian oasis, where Big Shock Racing’s Dakar trainings have been taking place for the past 15 years. In-depth tests started immediately upon arrival. Charles has the same proven Iveco engine as the previous Franta, the transmission remains manual. The main change is the booth with the nose, in which the crew sits behind the front axle. “I admit that at first I wasn’t 100% sure if I should change the race truck. But now I know it was a good decision and that we’ll be faster. Charles is the result of 17 years of our development and our passion for cars. It will definitely be a very peculiar truck. We still have to work on him a bit, for example on the chassis, but we know that we are a generation away. The view from the cabin with the nose, which I was a bit afraid of, is no problem at all, on pistons or in the dunes,”Martin Macik reported. He did not neglect his own physical training, recommended by the coach, and trained in the oasis every day. At the same time, they brought a new navigation training system with navigator Frantisek Tomasek to Tunisia, with which they tested the orientation skills. A new reinforcement in the racing truck cabin was David Svanda in the mechanic’s seat. He is a skilled worker who is being cheered on by a small daughter at home, but far from being a newcomer to the team. He took part in Dakar 2019 and participated in the construction of the new special, and if everything goes as planned, David will become the third crew member at Dakar 2020.

Brabec faces another challenge

Jan Brabec’s training in Tunis was going really well, too. He brought his motocross and Dakar motorbikes, and from the very beginning he set the pace and most of the time he moved around the oasis on two wheels. After a week of desert rides, he was in promising form. But then, at one of the crossings, he hit a rock, which slightly modified his further training plans. After the fall, he ended up with a broken leg and thumb on his hand, with a bruised back, a broken rib and some minor wounds and was taken to the local hospital. From there he went to a private clinic in Djerba where he has undergone surgery. After returning to the Czech Republic, Jan went straight from the airport to the Brno Hospital, where they already know him well and where he has undergone thumb surgery. “The important thing is that in two or three months, I’ll be sitting on a motorcycle again. There’s enough time before now and Dakar, I’ll be back in shape. I would like to make the Rallye du Maroc,” Jan Brabec said, already preparing a convalescence plan with the coach. But before he gets into it, he wants to get a good rest and get in good physical and mental shape to minimize the impact of recent events. “I’ve trained enough and I sorted it all out in my head. Dakar will never ask me how I feel. Falls are just a natural part of racing and I voluntarily decided to do things to the fullest. I like it, with all its falls and bruises,” he added.

The other members of Big Shock Racing will not get bored after returning from Africa either. Martin Macik was invited for a discussion at the Sedlcany grammar school, which he himself attended in the past, or at the Rozmberk castle. The plan is to participate in TruckShow Luznice or Novak fest. The first races will be on 25thJuly and Martin Macik and Charles will start in Baja Aragon, followed by Baja Poland and Rallye du Maroc. Preparations for the continuation of the Dakar project are also underway, as well as a series of fan meetings in February 2020.