This year’s Dakar is writing one unexpected story after another. Pilot Martin Macik, navigator Frantisek Tomasek and mechanic David Svanda from the MM Technology team managed to finish the 9th stage in 10th place. In the overall standings, their truck called Cenda is still 4th. The well-started speed trial got complicated for the riders from Sedlcany by a river, in which they, as the first truck on the track, got stuck. The crew tried to free the truck by all means available and get it to the shore. Martin van den Brink subsequently found himself in the same situation. In the end, both castaways were rescued by Mitchel van den Brink, to whom go many thanks, as well as to Jarda Valtr, who lent a rope for the rescue operation.
The first place may not always be an advantage
On Tuesday, the racers set out for the 9th stage of the Dakar after a day off, well rested, in clean racing overalls and shiny trucks. But they didn’t stay clean for long. The crew of the MM Technology team started from the first position because they won the 8th stage. They drove fast through the wet sand and the first dune section. “Nice stage. We like that. We went through the first dunes beautifully. But this time the first place didn’t pay off for us. Streams of water suddenly appeared in the middle of the desert. We followed the tracks leading across the river. We overcame the first part, but in the second half there was a hole under the water, and we got stranded,” Martin Macik describes the dramatic moments. The crew jumped into the water and tried to free the truck. “Right away we took out all of our three ropes, we tried to use ramps, we tried to dig, we were wading in there. The water was sometimes up to our knees, sometimes up to our bums. We pulled out everything we could find and tried to get out of there. Ferry was digging with all his might, but it was useless, we couldn’t get Cenda out of the mud,” explains Macik.
Thanks for all the help
After a while, Martin van den Brink arrived at the same place. “Martin saw us, he chose a different path than us, but he got stuck in there anyway,” adds Frantisek Tomasek. Other special rally vehicles were passing around the stuck trucks. “When the others spotted us, they drove further down the river where it was more passable and then came back. Then Mitchel van den Brink arrived, we helped each other with the ropes, but we were still missing one. Finally, Jarda Valtr lent us his rope. Mitchel then pulled out Martin first and then us. It was really challenging. Ben van de Laar also arrived there. We pulled him out too. Many thanks to Mitchell for his help. Our thanks also go to Jarda for lending us the rope,” says Macik.
The crew spent almost an hour in the river. As soon as Cenda reached dry land, they set off on a pursuit drive towards the finish line. “For the rest of the stage we were flying – it was technical, narrow, rocky, jumpy. We like that. So, we drove like hell to the finish line. There is nothing wrong with the truck,” adds David Svanda.
What comes next?
Another surprising event of this year’s Dakar is past us. Who would have thought that you could get stuck in a river in the middle of the desert? The crew will definitely share all the details of today’s incident at the Dakar Obsessed events. But not all is lost. The competitors are once again drying the overalls that they washed in the river today, and tomorrow they will set off with full commitment for the next stage in the direction of the Empty Quater. Fingers crossed, the Dakar is getting more and more exciting, and the marathon stage is approaching.