Truck driver Martin Macik drove his new 2023 Dakar special for the first time. The truck is based on the IVECO Powerstar cabin, but under the hood, there is a sophisticated machine that cannot be found in any mass-produced vehicle. It is based on the twenty-year development of the head of the MM Technology team, Martin Macik, Sr. Its construction took approximately six months. Technical innovations will help make it as comfortable as possible, while still being able to withstand the treacherous Dakar terrain and pace. This truck is actually one of two identical trucks that were created in the Sedlcany workshops. Their working names are Cenda and Jenda. Martin Macik already took Cenda for a rough test drive – the Rallye du Maroc.
The development of the Dakar special never ends
Macik’s new car is already the 8th generation of racing trucks developed in Sedlcany. The base of the car has been tested by many Dakars. The Czech team wants to keep up with the ever-accelerating pace of the legendary long-distance rally, which is why it improves its specials each year. “We have learned a lot from past Dakars. I, for example, learnt not to jump into a hole at 140 km/h. That would have solved a lot of technical issues,” Martin Macik laughed, adding that the new truck has several new features. “The truck is the continuing generation of Arnold, the special that Martin Soltys drove in the last Dakar. During construction, we focused on the comfort of the crew, and, at the same time, we had to adapt to the new technical regulations of the FIA, related for example to the weight or safety of the vehicle. That required several modifications to the chassis setup or safety frames in the cab that we manufacture. We also invented a gadget for changing wheels faster,” Martin Macik, Sr., head of the MM Technology team, described.
The tests at the Rallye du Maroc will decide the final form for the Dakar
Joining Martin Macik in the cabin are navigator Frantisek Tomasek and mechanic David Svanda. They have already experienced a lot together. A new racing truck is always a joy for them. At the same time, however, they need time to familiarize themselves with and test the new features. That is why the crew is now heading to the Rallye du Maroc which starts on October 1. The entire Big Shock! Racing team is already looking forward to the first ride of its new special. Minor bugs are taken into account. The mechanics know that they will have their hands full after returning home. Based on the collected data and experience, the final technical phase of the preparations for Dakar 2023 will take place. “We will test the truck in real-time, on a real track. You cannot simulate Dakar conditions anywhere else. The Rallye du Maroc is the last race of the World Cup, so we will combine the pleasant with the useful,” the driver, Martin Macik, explained.
The new special was created in two versions
The MM Technology workshops have been working at full capacity for several months. Although the preparations for Dakar are far from over, everyone who participated in the production and development of the new truck deserves a big thank you for their commitment. “At today’s rate, we can build two racing trucks in half a year. It depends on the availability of individual components and the number of mechanics working on the construction site. We brought in five more skilled guys to help with everything. We have two constructors, my dad manages it all, he also acts as the chief constructor, but also, for example, installs the air and brake systems on all new trucks by himself. Capik heads the workshop and individual mechanics have their own specializations – axles, engines, tires, etc. There are locksmiths and electrical experts who stuff kilometres of wires in the trucks. David Svanda must have a general overview of everything, so that, as an on-board mechanic, he can intervene at any time during the race,” Martin Macik listed the responsibilities. He also reminded us that while new racing trucks were being built in the workshops, the MM Technology team of mechanics also had to take care of other racing machines that left the workshops in the past and today serve foreign teams – they also had to be prepared for the races. Vincenzo, the Italtrans Racing team’s truck, Nicias of Project 2030, Fireman Dakarteam’s Arnold all took turns in the workshops, and RUHRTAL RACING’s Charles also showed up, needing repairs after a collision in the race. “We have been working on another racing special for a long time – the one with an electric drive. This is a completely different, but no less interesting development,” Martin Macik, Jr., concluded.