Another Dakar adventure begins. Racing trucks, cars and bikes are already on their way to Saudi Arabia, where on January 5 the 42nd year of the legendary race will start. This year’s technical scrutineering and embarkation of Dakar technology brought several changes for the better. The teams sent away their cars later than in previous years because the voyage to Saudi Arabia is considerably shorter. The scrutineering also took place in a new setting, on the Paul Ricard circuit in the French town of Le Castellet. Martin Macik’s new truck, called Charles, completed all the necessary formalities. Similarly, Anežka, Jan Brabec’s motorcycle, passed all tests with flying colours. The biggest complication was the fact that the Big Shock Racing team had to find a new place to store the trailer, on which the new racing truck was brought to France. But even this was finally solved and the trailer will wait for Charles’s return from Dakar on a farm of one of the team friends not far from Marseille.
Fight for a sticker
“We passed the checks smoothly. Over the years we have been through them all numerous times, so we were prepared. They checked the compulsory equipment, fire extinguishers, lights, even positioning of stickers. And here the organizers got into a little trouble with my dad,” Martin Macik Jr. said about the most dramatic situation of the whole inspection, when the team boss Martin Macik Sr. prevented one of the stickers from being on the windshield where it would impair the crew’s view with a powerful Czech-English speech to the organizers. Eventually a compromise was reached and the whole event could continue successfully. The team took another 90-minute delay during the replacement of the pneumatic jack, which the organizers use to lift the racing trucks for inspection. It was also necessary to take over and mount GPS or Iritrack. “The handover of assistance cars was also smooth. The assistance trucks passed the tests quickly. For personal press cars that have to meet FIA conditions because they will be present on the race track, the technical checks were comparable to the race cars’. But Big Shock Racing has been using the same cars since 2008, so everything went smoothly here, too,” the team manager Martin Pabiska reported.
Brabec kept from training by inspection
Armed with a cold, Jan Brabec went for inspection literally from the gym. His new mechanic also accompanied him to France. “Everything went really well. If the Dakar ran equally well, I would be happy,” Jan said, excited to meet his biker colleagues. He warmly greeted especially Stefan Svitko, with whom he organizes joint trainings. “Everyone was surprised to see me here, even though I’m limping. I explained that my leg still hurts a little while walking, but not on a motorcycle,” Brabec noted cheerfully, and added he wants to use the last month before Dakar for intensive training.
During Tuesday then, the team went through the whole scrutineering, collected all necessary stamps and based on the roadbook rules took their equipment to the organizers at the port of Marseille. The Big Shock Racing team hopes that their cars will make it to the finish line and is looking forward to picking up their racing equipment at Jeddah on January 2.