Martin Macik’s crew celebrated the New Year by winning the 1st stage of the Dakar 2023. After Saturday’s winning prologue, the orange truck, Cenda, opened the track for trucks. But the navigator Frantisek Tomasek was not afraid of the responsibility and led the special rally truck from Sedlcany with certainty to the finish line. The fast track suited Martin Macik and mechanic David Svanda had nothing to repair. The new special rally truck developed by Martin Macik Sr., the head of MM Technology, still has room for further acceleration. In the timed part of the long 368 racing kilometers, the Czech competitors were able to maintain their lead from the start to the finish. “We have a good feeling about today’s ride. We are calm, relaxed. Today certainly gave us energy and strength for the following days. A great start for us,” said navigator Frantisek Tomasek after completing the stage.

We are far from the limit

Martin Macik’s crew opened the 1st stage for trucks on Sunday. Even before the start it was clear that using this opportunity to the fullest would require a great deal of driving courage and navigational confidence. But the team from Sedlcany was able to cope. “We are at the finish line of the first stage. We started first, we finished first. It’s a strange feeling when you don’t meet any other trucks for the entire time and you have to maintain your performance and concentration solely by relying on your feelings,” said Martin Macik. The Czech competitors even managed to enjoy the surrounding countryside during the ride. “For the first 20 km we wondered if we were even in Saudi Arabia. Around us was an overgrown green track between mountainous massifs – a typical Argentine stage. The track was fast and it suited Mates very well. In terms of navigation, we were not afraid of anything,” added Frantisek Tomasek. And the mechanic David Svanda, from the technical point of view, was satisfied with the first stage: “The truck drives unbelievably. There were no strange sounds that would sometimes scare us in previous years. It’s simply a new truck. Everything has worked well so far.” The crew was also pleased that they were able to successfully navigate the course full of dangerous rocks at the pace they set. “Frantisek followed the roadbook. This time David and I had all the stones covered. We didn’t suffer any defect. We had a really good time. I would say that we were still far from the limit,” said Martin Macik.

The hard work of the Dakar trackers

The hero of the first stage is navigator Frantisek Tomasek. Opening a track in the truck category has its advantages, but at the same time, this situation is a nightmare for every navigator. He has only himself to rely on. In Sunday’s special stage, Frantisek confirmed that he can find enjoyment in such challenges, although he has minimum time to prepare. “I have maybe a few minutes before the start to go through the current route and see what’s in store for us that day. I only have time to quickly look at the exclamation marks, to see if there is anything interesting. When we were still driving according to paper roadbooks, I would prepare and do some coloring in the roadbook 2 to 3 hours every time before the start. We’re going in blind now. Sometimes some sections of the track are so fast that I can’t even read the navigation. I only notify Mates,” describes Frantisek Tomasek.

As for the New Year…

The Dakar is at the very beginning. Everything is ahead of us and each next stage can significantly mix up the events. Nevertheless, the MM Technology team had a great start to this year’s Dakar adventure. In addition to the success of Martin Macik, other crews riding in trucks built by developers and mechanics from Sedlcany are also doing well in the rally.

A big thank you goes to the fans, whose incredible support, kindness, and humor give Cenda’s crew much needed calmness and perspective.