The last quarter of the Dakar Rally started today. The driver Martin Macik, navigator Frantisek Tomasek, and mechanic David Svanda from the Big Shock! Racing team set off into Stage 10 well-prepared and motivated after yesterday’s third place. Their truck, called Charles, was once again heading for the finish line with confidence. They finished in great 6th place, just three minutes and forty-six seconds behind the fastest of the Kamaz trucks. In the overall rankings, the Sedlcany crew moved up to 8th place.
The hard work does not stop after earning a podium
Yesterday’s third place in Stage 9, and being just three seconds away from the second place, immensely pleased all members of the Big Shock! Racing team. However, it did not distract them from the usual Dakar routine. There was certainly no time for celebrations. In the bivouac, immediately after the arrival of Charles, everyone got down to work and thorough preparations for today’s Stage 10. “Dan Stiblik and Martin Barton are checking the tires, preparing the cabins to be nice and clean for tomorrow. Lavor and Bob are working on the axles. Frantisek is on alert in case something needs welding. Everyone is still working incredibly hard,” the onboard mechanic David Svanda described. The team’s yellow truck entered today’s stage in perfect shape again and managed to deal with the difficult mountain terrain without any major problems.
A good chase
The first part of today’s course was hard and fast. “It was very a fast, but at the same time a very technical, dusty, rough track. It wasn’t easy, there was a lot of overtaking. It was a good chase, though,” Martin Macik said. The organisers also decided to test the navigators’ wits this time. Frantisek Tomasek managed to cope with the complicated navigation. “We had to turn around only once because we were not sure if we got the checkpoint, even it showed we did. And we missed one point by about ten metres, so we went back for it. Other than that, it was smooth sailing,” Tomasek reported.
Ski goggles at the ready
The end of the stage took the crews into the mountains, where the drive was slower and much more technical. Such terrain suits the Sedlcany crew. “The last hundred kilometres were really rough. Narrow paths in the mountains, where the truck barely fits. We flew up and down between the rocks for about twenty kilometres, I really enjoyed that. For a while, we drove between the rocks behind one of the buggies – maybe four trucks and two buggies close behind each other in the mountains,” Martin Macik explained. “Plus, at one point, a branch hit our windscreen. We were mentally preparing to repeat last year’s driving in ski goggles, but, luckily, the window held up until the finish. So, everything was fine. It was a fun stage,” the mechanic David Svanda concluded.
There are only two more special stages left in this year’s Dakar. And the crew of the Big Shock! Racing will fight until the last kilometre. Nevertheless, they still want to reach the finish line safe and sound.
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