On Sunday, after a day off, the Dakar competitors set off for stage 7. The energy gathered during Saturday surely paid off, because they had to get through the longest section of this year’s race: 546 kilometres, which is roughly the distance from Prague to Budapest. Unfortunately, the Big Shock Racing team did not experience any demanding terrain with technical dune sections and intricate navigation during this stage, either. After driving at maximum speed, interrupted only to change one tire, the truck special, Charles, driven by Macik, Tomasek, and Svanda, finished in 13th place and still holds the 5th position overall. The Big Shock Racing motorcyclist Jan Brabec went into the Sunday’s stage well-rested, albeit with a broken little finger. He finished the stage in the 52nd position and is 39th overall. This time, Jan did not joke much. Agnes, his bike, did not allow him to make the most of the gear change. The Czech biker was later also taken aback by the horrible accident that happened on the track. The Big Shock Racing team members are with the Portuguese’s motorcyclist family in their thoughts.
Macik longs for a more challenging track
The crew of Martin Macik succeeded in the introduction of today’s stage. The Big Shock Racing truck went through the long, fast sections with a balanced chase in the TOP 5. All it took was one punctured tire and the Czech team went down in ranking during the 15-minute stop to change the rear tire. However, they continued to finish without any further problems. Once again, all was good with navigation. “I miss the difficulty of Dakar. Today we went into the 450th kilometre, where a piece of the tire separated from the wheel. There was a loud bang. We already suspected it to be something more serious. But all we had to do was to change the tire, and we lost about 15 minutes. Then we drove in the dust without major complications. The whole stage was straight, fast, we could still go at about 140 km/h, in dunes at least. Technically not a very demanding stage,” Martin Macik described. “We have one problem only and that is that this year’s Dakar is too easy. Technically and navigationally, it would need a bit of a kick, some variability, so it is not only about speed and whether your car can last. We would like to have a good high dune in the next stages,” the navigator Frantisek Tomasek added.
Brabec finished in 5th gear
Jan Brabec, the team’s motorcyclist, took full advantage of Saturday’s leave and slept most of the day to give the body, weakened after recent injuries, the much-needed regeneration. It also turned out that during the fall in stage 5, he had a broken his little finger, but that is an irrelevant detail for Jan Brabec. “I’ve just now arrived at the finish. I could only change the gear up to 5, the 6th was not working. Today’s stage was boring. I drove for 30 kilometres, full-throttle, then turn and go full-throttle again. And that was all. The first four stages were rough and now it’s straight and boring. I am neither tired nor out of breath,” Jan Brabec reported immediately after reaching the finishing line, slightly upset. Then, he was informed about the accident that had happened on the track. “I’m so sorry. We all know the risks, but at the same time, you can’t do Dakar and be scared. Paulo Goncalves was an experienced driver. It’s really sad. Unfortunately, this is also a part of motorsport,” Jan Brabec commented on the accident.
Watch the video from the 7th stage!