The driver Martin Macik, along with the navigator Frantisek Tomasek and onboard mechanic David Svanda completed the Baja Aragon race in the legendary Liaz truck called Francis. Despite the truck being an older model, and does not have an automatic transmission, the team managed to win two stages in the demanding Spanish race and won a valuable 3rd place overall. More sharp kilometres await the crew of the Big Shock! Racing team during October’s Rallye du Maroc, where the new truck will be revealed. At the moment, it is still being built in the workshops of the MM Technology centre in Sedlcany.
Busy 12 hours in a hot cabin
“We were looking forward to Francis being back in action. It was a completely new route and we set the pace from the start,” Martin Macik said. On Saturday, the crew of the Big Shock! Racing team completed two stages in the Baja Aragon rally. In the first part of Saturday, however, their progress was slowed down by a stone on the track, which hit the water pump of the Sedlcany truck. The crew had to stop, replace the damaged part and add water. The unplanned stop caused a delay of about 90 minutes. This was followed by a race to the finish of the first stage on Saturday, during which the team managed to gradually catch up. The Sedlcany crew then also fought hard in the second Saturday stage. “That was really a massacre, we overtook everyone, but for the last 70 kilometres, out of a total of 230, only two gears worked on the transmission. It was over 50 degrees in the cabin. But we arrived at the finish line the fastest. We left the second truck 7 minutes behind and the third has not yet even crossed the finish line. We are so hot, and my knee hurts – I hit it on the steering wheel. Francis made us work hard, it’s a big difference compared to the new trucks,” Macik reported after arriving at the bivouac on Saturday. “I’m satisfied. We sat in the car for 12 hours today and drove 428 kilometres,” he said and praised the opportunity to train for the 2023 Dakar.
During the second day of the weekend, the crew had to overcome another 160 kilometres. Overnight, the team mechanics put Francis back into shape, finishing the work in the early hours of the morning. Even though the final part of the race was too short to catch up with the two leading trucks, the last stage also brought the crew additional valuable racing kilometres and the opportunity to check how things work in the cabin. “It was like the good old days with Francis. Although it didn’t undergo any major renovation before the start, we just tweaked some things a bit, it did a good job. It’s like a tank. We had a good ride today, too, even though a large part of the track was quite dusty,”Macik reported. He also confessed his hand hurts when driving without an automatic transmission, which he has been used to for several years. In the overall ranking of Baja Aragon, the retro truck from Sedlcany eventually won 3rd place. Congratulations go to Jaroslav Valtr, who won the Spanish race in the truck category in a car built by the MM Technology team.
Next racing stop – ‘Obsessed with Dakar’ and Rallye du Maroc
Martin Macik raced in Baja Aragon in an older model of a truck, but the Big Shock! Racing team members and fans have a strong emotional connection to it. This is the last Liaz truck to compete in the 2019 Dakar Rally. The Spanish rally served as training for the crew for the next Dakar, but a good result is a nice bonus. Martin Macik’s next racing stop will be the Rallye du Maroc, where he will already be testing his new truck, which will bring several improvements. Even before that – on Saturday, July 30 – the crew of the Big Shock! Racing team will share their experience from the Spanish rally at the ‘Obsessed with Dakar’ Open Air in Prerovska Rokle. There will be other Czech drivers, too. “All fans of fast cars, adrenaline and long-distance races are cordially invited. We will of course bring Francis so you can get acquainted,” Martin Macik promised.