The Big Shock! Racing team’s yellow truck with the number 503 passed the technical inspections smoothly in the morning and a few hours later reached the finish line of the 2021 Dakar prologue in the 3rd place. The driver Martin Macik, navigator Frantisek Tomasek and mechanic David Svanda, the crew that managed to win the great 5th place in last year’s Dakar rally, once again took part in a proper race after a long pause. They enjoyed the introductory warm-up, even though it was only an 11-kilometre route. At the same time, the prologue determined the order for tomorrow’s first stage of Dakar. The team’s truck, Charles, will start from the advantageous third position on Sunday on the 277-kilometre-long race journey.
We’re going carefully but at a strong pace
“We have already managed to destroy a side mirror,” the mechanic David Svanda reported at the end of the prologue. “The prologue was swift. We went to full power all the time. There were trees and branches everywhere, so we hit one here and there, but the pace was good,” the driver Martin Macik, who is known for a cautious start every Dakar, described. However, he is also known for increasing speed after each subsequent stage. Once again, he completed the introductory prologue with a cool head, but still managed to maintain a good starting position for Sunday’s stage. “My disadvantage and advantage at the same time are that I drive too much with my head. I can’t go faster than I can handle while keeping my cool. Maybe that’s why we ride slower in the first stages. I don’t want to go over the edge. I’m accelerating gradually and in the second to third stages, I’m getting into the pace. I never take a big risk so that nobody gets hurt and there’s no damage on the truck. When I feel that the stage fits me, I go faster,” Martin Macik explained how he judges risk during Dakar. In recent years, his approach has paid off when he twice (2018 and 2020) managed to reach the finish line among the TOP 5.
There is a sense of satisfaction felt in the bivouac
The atmosphere is cheerful in the bivouac of the Big Shock! Racing team after the prologue. Most members of the team can no longer imagine January without Dakar. “We are happy to be here to race. We strongly believed that it would work out,” the navigator Frantisek Tomasek said. Dakar is a regular January joy for the team and the fans. “Most guys are naturally drawn to everything that has an engine and the Dakar is the best off-road racing event. Once you experience it, you want to come back. The reasons are different. It brings satisfaction and happiness, sense of belonging, success or popularity to people. For 14 days you live a story that completely devours you. Because the dose of adrenaline that it pumps into your body and the amount of stress that forces you to give better results are incredible,” Martin Macik explained why so many Dakar participants enjoy the stress, discomfort and fatigue that the legendary race brings. “It’s also about competition, which makes you want to get better and better. The ego works here, and the adventure associated with a long navigation race is also challenging. Dakar is for disciplined men who are used to working on themselves long-term,” the team manager Martin Pabiska, who is in Dakar for the thirteenth time, added. Others agree and add that in the case of the Big Shock! Racing team, it is also essential to have a seasoned, well-coordinated group of people who are alike in character, who are always happy to meet up in the bivouac – the kind of crew anyone would love to be a part of.
Video about the Prologue here.