Dakar driver Martin Macik has a new ‘toy’ – his father, the boss of the Big Shock! Racing team, Martin Macik, Sr. built him a new racing truck. Its name is Arnold, judging from the cabin, it is an Iveco Powerstar, and the special construction bears the 20 years of Martin Macik, Sr.’s experience. Arnold was built with all the successes and mistakes of previous generations of racing trucks built by Sedlcany mechanics in mind. The new truck should become the team’s fastest, most agile and durable car. But now the main task is to test Arnold properly and reveal its weaknesses. The October Rallye du Maroc will present ideal conditions for this mission – and the crew of Macik, Tomasek, and Svanda is ready to put Arnold hard to work.
After the success of this year’s Dakar, the MM Technology workshops in Sedlcany were really busy, new mechanics came, foreign partners came forward with offers of cooperation and the development of racing trucks could thus move a bit further again. Preparations for the creation of a new team vehicle took over two years. Now the Iveco Powerstar leaves the garage for the first time and the team mechanics feel like they have done a good job. Everyone on the Big Shock! Racing team will not call the new truck anything other than Arnold. “On January 10, during the 2020 Dakar, I received a message from a fan, Eva. She wrote that her mother-in-law has 3 sons and they are all watching Dakar. The oldest is named Frank, the middle Charles and the youngest, Eva’s husband, is Arnold. She wondered if we had already had a name for our next truck, and if we could consider naming it Arnold,” Martin Macik said and continued: “Then it turned out that dad’s very first motorcycle was also called Arnold, so we knew what the new truck should be called.”
We work with weight distribution and regulations for the World Cup
The basis of the new truck is the same as for its successful predecessor Charles, in which Martin Macik and his crew won 3 stages and the 4th overall position on the 2021 Dakar. All the tried-and-tested parts of the car remain; automatic gearbox, cabin, wheels, axles and engine. “We have been working with the weight distribution now. The storage of spare parts that we take with us is different than before. We no longer have 4 separate tanks, but one central. Part of the new modifications corresponds to the safety protocols and approvals of the FIA World Cup, which will start next year with the 2022 Dakar. We have been therefore working on the fire extinguishing system in the cabin, steering wheel modification, tank valves, spare wheel storage and other details,” Martin Macik explained the differences from the previous team’s trucks.
How do the Macik men build a new racing truck?
The Big Shock! Racing crew is careful not to miss any technical development that is necessary for success at the Dakar. The construction of new cars within MM Technology is, therefore, an important part of the plans for the coming seasons. “At the moment, I am already thinking about what the next truck that comes after Arnold would look like,”says Martin Macik, Sr. Knowledge and experience from previous races is continuously reflected in new constructions. When the decision is made to build a new truck, one must first create a 3D model of the car and all its components on a computer. This creates assignments for individual parts, which are continuously improved based on tests and experience ‘in the field’.
The new car first drives on a road, then the crew checks it off-road. Then, they test the truck at individual races. Arnold is therefore waiting for the stress test at the Rally du Maroc from 7 to 13 October. Martin Macik with navigator Frantisek Tomasek and mechanic David Svanda will test the new truck at a sharp pace for the first time. “It’s a brand-new car, we need to test everything. We take the Rallye du Maroc as a practice for the Dakar. But we know anything can happen. Arnold will pass the largest possible stress test in Morocco. We are looking forward to the next race, but at the same time we need to reveal Arnold’s possible weaknesses, which is the main reason for this year’s participation,” Martin Macik concluded.
The Big Shock! Racing Team has been striving for a long time to get two black-and-yellow trucks to stand at the start of one of the next Dakar races and to be able to support each other during the race. Since Arnold’s engine roared in front of the Sedlcany workshop for the first time, the plan has become more and more realistic.
ARNOLD – technical specifications:
Designation: IVECO POWERSTAR
Engine: IVECO Cursor 13
Volume: 12,998 cm3
Power: 745+ kW (1000+k)
Torque: 5000+ Nm
Max. speed: 140 km / h (el. limited)
Gearbox: automatic, Allison
Shock absorbers: FRT
Tank capacity: 900 l
Weight: 8,500 kg
Dimensions: 7000 mm x 2550 mm x 3300 mm