Both Big Shock! Racing crews started Stage 5 with new energy gained from their fans. The yellow truck, Charles, driven by Martin Macik and supported by the navigator Frantisek Tomasek and mechanic by David Svanda, covered 346 sharp kilometres this time on the circuit around Riyadh quite smoothly. Even though the Czech crew started in the back of the lineup, they arrived at the finish in a respectable 10th place and are 11th in the overall rankings.
Their teammates Martin Soltys, Roman Krejci, and Jakub Jirinec, however, ran into some unexpected events on the track. They got stuck in the desert and are doing their best to fix the wheel bearing and make it to the finish. Everyone from the Big Shock! Racing team are confident they will succeed.
Martin Macik started almost last but finished 10th
The Dakar rally is unpredictable. After a hellish Stage 4, Martin Macik’s crew arrived late today for the start of Stage 5 as the mechanics worked until the very last minute to replace some parts. But then everything went smoothly. As soon as the Iveco truck navigated by Frantisek Tomasek took off, it set a pursuit pace and left behind one rival after another. Only one tire change slowed them down. “We started from the very last place, and we were cutting past one truck after another. The track was very rutted, so we, and the truck, were getting our butts kicked. But we did well, I think. We were completely calm. Frantisek found all the points smoothly, even though the navigation was quite difficult. It went well today,” Martin Macik commented on today’s stage. The crew is still trying to get to the best possible place. “Every kilometre travelled and difficulty solved in Dakar brings experience that you don’t have a chance to get elsewhere. That’s how we approach the Dakar. We‘re not going to complain. We’re going to keep going as fast as we can, we’re in attacking the top 10, and at the same time, we’re collecting points in the World Cup, which the Dakar is now a part of,” Macik added.
Martin Soltys repairs in the dunes
Macik’s truck number 503 also made several stops along the route to help friendly crews. “We stopped by the guys from the Italtrans Racing team and helped them, and then also by Martin Soltys. The guys were fixing Arnold in the dunes. But, unfortunately, we couldn’t help them much, we didn’t even have the necessary parts. I believe that they will be able to sort it out and make it to the finish,” the mechanic David Svanda reported. Martin Macik added: “The guys are still in the middle of the dunes. It looked like something happened to the left front wheel bearing after a big jump. We are all thinking about them, it won’t be easy, but we expect them to show up at the finish.”
Sleepless Dakar nights to come
After an extreme Stage 4, most mechanics didn’t get any sleep at all. “The guys are split into groups where each one is in charge of its technical specialization – axles, engines, gearboxes, tires etc. At the same time, each of the four trucks we look after has its own head mechanic. That is the person who was there when the truck was built and knows it down to the last bolt and screw. When the crews return to the bivouac, everyone knows what to do. The guys get straight to work, and the servicing sometimes goes on until the morning,” the onboard mechanic David Svanda explained. The MM Technology team takes care of Charles and Arnold – the trucks of the home team Big Shock! Racing. But they also service Vincenzo and Nicias, the specials built in Sedlcany for the friendly teams Project 2030 and Italtrans Racing. The group of seasoned professionals, supported by new reinforcements, has been doing a great job in the past couple of days, and they all deserve a big thanks.
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