On Saturday 25th November, the MM Technology team and their fans met in Sedlcany square as part of the Let’s go to Dakar event. The fans met with the Cenda crew consisting of Martin Macik Jr., Frantisek Tomasek and David Svanda and also wished luck to the equipment before its departure to Barcelona, where this year’s Dakar starts with scrutineering. They will see the team in person again in February and March as part of the “Dakar Obsessed” talk show.

Signing Cenda for good luck

The traditional meeting with fans on Sedlcany square was held in style this year. On site, the fans personally said goodbye to the whole crew and the equipment, which included not only the factory truck Cenda, but also the accompanying vehicles. There were also a few extra goodies prepared for them. “The fans are the engine we take with us to the Dakar. That’s why this year we expanded the places where they could sign Cenda and spent as much time with them as possible, despite the cold. Luckily no one froze to death, maybe because we just launched a new team collection with a really warm jacket that everyone could buy right on the square,” Martin Macik Jr. sums up the meeting in Sedlcany.

Having a fine-tuned equipment is essential

The unmistakable orange truck dominated not only the square, but also the workshop in recent months. “You need to be as prepared as possible for the Dakar so that everything works as it should. That’s why even though Cenda has undergone only minor tweaks apart from the chassis tuning, we have basically replaced all the main parts with new ones, so it’s essentially a new car,” summarizes mechanic David Svanda. One of the accompanying trucks, the “camper truck”, has also undergone modifications, receiving an upgrade in the form of electronic sliding sidewalls and a few interior improvements.

The mechanics will be busy

Apart from Cenda, several other trucks from the MM Technology workshop will be racing at the Dakar and will have the best care of mechanics in Saudi Arabia. In total, there will be four trucks, namely the factory truck Cenda, two trucks of the Italtrans Racing team and one in the colours of the Firemen Dakarteam. They will all initially meet in Barcelona, where this year scrutineering will take place on 1st December. The teams will also receive their starting numbers. “We have prepared and filled out all the documentation very carefully, so all that’s left is not to get lost along the way. After all, it’s 600 km further than we were used to driving when the scrutineering took place in Marseille,”says navigator Frantisek Tomasek.

This year brings changes

The first change for the team is the starting number, which does not begin with a five, but with a six. There has been a change in the categories and we will see Cenda on the track with the number 601. The race itself has undergone modifications mainly due to the addition of the 48 Chrono format, which is basically one long and challenging marathon stage that competitors complete over two days. Outside of that, of course, there is a modified marathon stage on the programme. “It’s going to be a challenging Dakar. We start in the south towards the Empty Quarter, Ha’il awaits us at the end of the race, also the new 48 Chrono format, which is a marathon stage with 2 hours for service and of course rough terrain where in one part we will probably cover up to 2,000 km in two days. It’s going to be a challenge, but that’s what we like”, says Martin Macik Jr.