The racers of the MM Technology team – pilot Martin Macik, navigator Frantisek Tomasek and mechanic David Svanda – fought hard today and were once again the fastest at the finish line of the 4th stage of the Dakar. After yesterday’s victory, they started Wednesday’s speed trial from the 1st position. And they defended that place right to the finish line. They were able to drive through the circuit near Ha’il, measuring 425 racing kilometers, brilliantly, although their truck, Cenda, once jumped a little harder during the journey and the front suspension took the punishment. In the end, the crew from Sedlcany managed to win their 3rd stage.
The first truck on the track
After Tuesday’s victory, the crew of the MM Technology team opened the track for the truck category again today. To the great joy of the MM Technology team members, the organizers decided that the current 4th stage will go according to the original plan. In the morning at the Dakar, the sun shone on the soaked bivouac, and it was back to business. As we are used to, Martin Macik set a fast pace right from the start. “It’s Ha’il here, sand with camel grass, you keep jumping up and down. There were big climbs. We were looking for a route. Today we started again first, so we showed the others where to go,” described navigator Frantisek Tomasek.
We jumped and the springs took a beating
Around the 30th kilometer, the Cenda team truck jumped when it was climbing uphill. “There was a hole the size of a cow. We jumped and there was a bang. We thought the steering rod was done. But it was possible to go on. In the end, it turned out that the bang came from the suspension and the springs were loosened quite a bit. But we only found out about that at the 220th kilometer. Until then, we drove carefully and lightly,” explains Martin Macik.
The crew tightened the springs along the way and set a faster but safe pace for the remaining roughly 200 km. “We tried not to hit the brakes too hard and not to jump into any more counter slopes. We drove more carefully,” says Macik, and mechanic David Svanda adds: “We drove into the rocks, in between the mountains, we were waiting to see how Cenda handles it, but we were able to pass everything. The engine worked like a charm.”
Surprising findings: We are first and Cenda consumes more fuel in the sand
The Sedlcany team had mixed feelings about their ride after arriving at the finish line. But they were in for a pleasant surprise when they found out they had won the stage. In addition, they managed to move to 4th position in the overall standings and significantly reduced the time loss to the crews in front of them.
At the same time, the crew of the MM Technology team found out after the finish that the amount of fuel in their tank was really on the edge today. “We almost ran out of fuel. Dad filled us up according to the calculation, but in that sand, Cenda consumes more than it should. So, after reaching the finish line, we were already running on fumes,” reported Martin Macik. At the finish line, it was also clear that the mechanics would be changing the springs in the bivouac today. “It takes two hours to change a spring. But otherwise, Cenda looks good. We will go through everything and check it all again,” estimated the difficulty of the night shift mechanic David Svanda.
What’s next for the Dakar riders?
According to the feedback, the fans enjoyed a really exciting race today, in which the leaders regularly alternated at the top. Thank you very much to everyone who believes in us and rides the Dakar with us. We continue tomorrow. Another circuit around Ha’il awaits us, in which the main role should be played by sand. There will definitely be a lot to watch again.