As soon as the last screws were tightened on Martin Macik’s newly built racing truck, the mechanics loaded it onto the sleeper and set off for Agadir. The demanding six-day Rallye du Maroc will be starting there on October 1, and the crew of the Big Shock! Racing team is ready! Martin Macik is looking forward to his first drive in Cenda (as he has named his truck for the time being). Together they will overcome more than 2,300 kilometres spread over 6 rough stages full of stones and sand. Martin could not have asked for a better test for his new vehicle. The members of the expedition from Sedlcany are ready for the upcoming sleepless nights, during which they will tweak the new car’s bugs in Morocco and gather ideas for the final preparations of the truck before the 2023 Dakar. In order to do this, the technical team of MM Technology has grown a bit. A total of 20 mechanics will provide support not only to racers from Sedlcany but also to colleagues from foreign teams who drive trucks from the Sedlcany workshops. It is indeed an interesting group that has gathered in the bivouac in Morocco before the rally.
First ride? Shakedown and Rallye du Maroc prologue
A group of mechanics from Sedlcany arrived at the Agadir stadium with the new truck on Wednesday, September 28, to prepare the necessary facilities ahead of time. The remaining team members arrived at the site on Thursday night. On Friday, there was a warm-up shakedown and technical inspections. On Saturday, the race starts with an opening prologue, in which Macik’s Cenda, the truck with the number 501, starts in second place. Martin will be joined in the cabin by experienced colleagues – navigator Frantisek Tomasek and onboard mechanic David Svanda. The crew cannot wait for their first ride. So far, they had no time for a ride in Cenda. The mechanics at MM Technology took the new truck to Agadir immediately after completion. The crew will thus enjoy test driving right at a sharp racing pace. “The Moroccan rally is really challenging. Six stages ahead of us, that’s half of the Dakar. The track is very rocky, with dunes that are smaller than in Saudi Arabia, but all the more treacherous. We almost destroy the new cars in Morocco every year to reveal their weak points and manage to modify them in time for Dakar in January. The Rallye du Maroc is ideal for testing Cenda. Of course, I promised my dad that I would be careful,” the driver, Martin Macik, said. His father and head of the MM Technology team, Martin Macik, Sr., is also the chief designer of the new racing trucks.
Stress tests and navigation warm-up
The crew from Sedlcany love the Moroccan rally. It is fast, dusty, and full of places that pose danger to the tyres. “But at the same time, there is not much stress. We are cut off from civilization, the bivouac has a great atmosphere. A lot of teams are testing their vehicles, just as we are. I tried Arnold here for the first time last year, this year we are going with the new Cenda. It is also the last race of the World Cup T5 category in which we are,” Martin Macik explains. All team members are looking forward to seeing the new truck in action, but nobody knows what to prepare for. “Some bugs we certainly cannot avoid, we will have to deal with them. That’s why we’re here. It is clear that we will do some tweaking and repairing. What, how, when? No one knows. But we’ve put everything into the preparation of the new truck, I believe it will go well. The truth will be revealed on the track,” the on-board mechanic, David Svanda, said. The head of MM Technology, Martin Macik, Sr., is also curious about the new vehicle’s performance and test results: “We mainly want to test the new features on the truck. Time-tested parts remain unchanged. We will focus on the chassis, cabin suspension and other related improvements. We also collect data. There are sensors installed all over the car that monitor important values. Based on the results, we will continue to tune the car before the Dakar.” But the Rallye du Maroc is a welcome warm-up for the navigators as well. “Fortunately, we do not expect any major changes. As for devices, we should have the same navigation tablet that I first tried here three years ago. However, Morocco is always the highlight of the season for me. Here, I can try the same navigation as at the Dakar and practice a little,” the navigator of the Big Shock! Racing team, Frantisek Tomasek, concluded.
Unmissable truck bivouac
Anyone looking around the Rallye du Maroc bivouac cannot fail to notice the background of the MM Technology team. The trucks take up more space every year. The technical and organizational service, together with the crew of Martin Macik, is also shared by the crews of the Project 2030 and Italtrans Racing teams. Developers from Sedlcany built racing trucks for them and now they provide complete technical support. If necessary, the teams will lend a helping hand to each other on the track as well.