Big Shock! Racing team’s Martin Macik decided on which truck he would race with at the 2022 Dakar. The choice between the tried-and-tested Charles, with which he had already completed two years of the legendary race, and Arnold, an improved special recently completed by team mechanics, was not easy at all. In the end, it was the feelings that decided rather than the technical parameters. Nevertheless, it seems that both trucks will eventually experience the 2022 Dakar.

Arnold, or Charles?

It was not an easy decision to make, but Martin Macik eventually decided to rely on bet on Charles, an Iveco Powerstar racing truck, with which he had already completed two previous Dakar races and together they won the 5th and 4th place respectively. “It wasn’t easy. After Morocco, the decision was even more difficult. In the end, it is more of an emotional than an intellectual decision. I don’t think one truck can be said to be better than the other. They both drive well, they both have something in them. But Charles deserves to do another Dakar with us. We are already used to each other and we are going to enjoy our third time at Dakar together,“ the driver Martin Macik explained.

We brought valuable information from Morocco and third place as a bonus

The Rallye du Maroc did not make it much easier for Martin to choose the truck for the next Dakar. The main goal this year was to test Arnold, a new truck, built by the MM Technology team from Sedlcany, based on the experience and development of Martin Macik, Sr. The special was completed just a few days before leaving for the Moroccan race, where it passed a demanding test. “We tested Arnold through-and-through. That’s why we went there. We brought a brand-new truck to the second most extreme rally of the season. Some of the stages this year were even harsher than the Dakar itself. We now know everything we needed to learn. The mechanics are already working on Arnold again, according to plan,” Martin Macik, Sr. said. He also added that all the parts that remained unchanged from the previous development (from Charles) worked just as they should have. As part of the new adjustments, some expected weaknesses showed. The makeshift tank that the truck had only temporarily did not hold out. A new one is already waiting to be installed in the Sedlcany workshop. They will continue to improve the chassis, and then test it again. Other partial modifications are also underway. “I am satisfied after the Rallye du Maroc. Mechanics have all the information they needed. We had a great ride. Frantisek refreshed the navigation. Plus, the 3rd place we reached despite large penalties for not finishing a stage is a cherry on top. The race was challenging for everyone, but it gave us a lot,” Martin Macik commented.

Sedlcany workshops are running at full capacity

Now comes the final phase of technical preparations for the 2022 Dakar. The new truck, Arnold, is undergoing planned modifications. Charles will undergo regular maintenance. Like every year before the Dakar, the truck will be disassembled into the smallest parts, each of which needs to go through the mechanics’ hands. They will inspect, replace, weld, and spray them, put new bolts where needed, tighten the loose part… They will also install modified and reinforced connectors, which have just passed tests in Morocco. “We expect that in about two weeks, Charles will be completely ready for the 2022 Dakar,” the team mechanic David Svanda said. At the same time, the team is expanding its fleet of Dakar assistance vehicles.

If everything goes according to plan, which all members of the Big Shock! Racing team firmly believe, both trucks, Charles and Arnold, will soon be perfectly prepared for the 2022 Dakar. The fans’ wish to finally see two trucks in the Big Shock! Racing team colours stand at the start of the next Dakar, having each other’s back, is slowly but surely becoming a reality.


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