According to the Dakar director David Castera, the upcoming legendary long-distance rally will be rougher and longer compared to the previous ones held in Saudi Arabia. The track should lead the drivers into the treacherous desert dunes. The Big Shock! Racing driver, Martin Macik, commented on the published news and described what his new truck will look like for the 2023 Dakar. He explained why he decided to train with Francis, his favourite Liaz, and also revealed who will drive Charles – the truck in which he completed the past three Dakar rallies.

The look of the 2023 Dakar is already emerging. It is going to be epic

The team will celebrate the end of this year at the prologue of the 2023 Dakar. The first of the 14 stages will follow on New Year’s Eve. There will be two more specials than in the previous year and they should be long. The drivers will start from the bivouac at the Red Sea and go through places where no Dakar tires have been before. New terrain should make up 70% of the track. The organisers also consider slightly differing routes for individual competitors in some sections to avoid any cheating in the navigation. The crew leaders will probably not make any stops in neutralizations but will make the whole stage in one go. Whoever manages to deal with all the pitfalls of the track and drive through the dreaded dunes, reaches the finish line on January 15 in Dammam, a city by the Persian Gulf. “If we really go through the Empty Quarter, it will be a hell of a ride – a very challenging Dakar. The fans will definitely have something to watch. We certainly welcome larger, more technically complex tracks with difficult navigation and longer stages. We also appreciate the effort of the organisers to allow participation only for well-prepared drivers – it makes sense mainly for safety reasons,” the driver Martin Macik commented.

What will Macik’s new truck for the 2023 Dakar be like?

The mechanics from the MM Technology centre in Sedlcany are already building a new racing truck for Martin Macik’s crew (which includes the mechanic David Svanda and navigator Frantisek Tomasek). More specifically, they are currently building two diesel trucks and one electric. “It’s another step in the evolution of our development. We use most of the parts that have proven themselves to work well during the last Dakar. At the same time, we want to test a few improvements. We develop materials for some car parts. Spare tires will be at the back because we are figuring out the location of the fuel tanks. We want to put them as low as possible because of the centre of gravity. We are also dealing with the cabin and improvements within the software and its communication with the gearbox. We have our own development in the setting of the automatic gearbox, which should adapt to Martin’s driving style as much as possible. The chassis and its settings remain exactly the same – everything works well for us there. We will have a new truck – that means another progress, more resilience, but also a lot of testing, once the truck is ready,” Martin Macik, Sr., the head of the MM Technology team, added.

Francis Returns – rough training in a favourite Liaz

“I guess I will make a lot of fans happy now because I can already confirm that I am bringing Francis, the last Liaz we had at the Dakar, to Baja Aragon in July. We are all really looking forward to it. It will be fun and at the same time quite rough training. I’m already preparing physically because I know that Francis will do a number on us, especially if we want to go at full speed. But when we change trucks, we will be really resilient,” the driver, Martin Macik, said about the legendary truck with which he reached the Dakar finish line in 2018 as the 5th fastest in the truck category.

Charles will race dressed in German colours

“We are also saying goodbye to our beloved Charles. Together, we conquered the last three Dakars, won three stages and finished 5th and 7th. But the time has come to move on. Charles is now heading to Germany to the RUHRTAL RACING team, which is planning a Dakar participation in the upcoming next years,” the driver, Martin Macik, announced. On June 26, Charles and his new team will start at the Breslau Rallye. During the Polish rally, the German crew will receive training from Martin’s navigator Frantisek Tomasek, who will sit in the co-pilot’s seat during the five-day rally. The MM Technology mechanics will also provide technical assistance to the German team. After all the changes, it is worth summarising who is racing in trucks built by the MM Technology: Valtr Racing has Andrej, Charles goes to the RUHRTAL RACING team, Vincenzo belongs to the Italtrans Racing Team, the Dutch Project 2030 drives Nicias, the mechanics in Sedlcany also built a chassis for the Dutch Dakarspeed team, and Arnold was handed over to Fireman Dakarteam.

The advantage of Czech teams? Fans obsessed with Dakar

If you want to learn more about the preparations for the Dakar, you will have a chance to ask about all the details in person and experience a holiday Dakar ride in Sedlcany on July 2 or in Prerov on July 30 – at the ‘Obsessed with Dakar’ events. The teams of Martin Macik, Martin Soltys, Martin Kolomy, David Pabiska, Zdeněk Tuma, Tomas Tomecek, and Martin Prokop will bring fans of powerful racing machines and long-distance races a good load of adrenaline. Fans will also have the opportunity to meet Dakar legends – Josef Kalina, Ladislav Fajtl or Jaroslav Joklik. Those interested can try to change the tire on the racing truck (the way they do it at the Dakar), and there will be some surprises prepared. “Fans are our secret weapon for the next Dakar. That is why we are still coming up with new events for them and we are glad that they enjoy it as much as we do,” Martin Macik concluded.