The MM Technology team has already returned home from the Dakar; the Bedouin has settled in Sedlcany. Pilot Martin Macik, navigator Frantisek Tomasek and mechanic David Svanda won the trophy for 2nd place in the truck category. For all team members, it is a reward for years of hard work, effort, and belief that it is possible for them to build a racing truck themselves and succeed with it at the Dakar. It is a confirmation that the journey that Martin Macik Sr. embarked on 20 years ago was not as crazy as it might have seemed at the beginning. Success at this year’s Dakar will help the racers, constructors, mechanics, and others who work with the team to continue their passion and do the work they enjoy and at which they are now among the best in the world. Now it is time for some rest, family and peace. But there are plenty of other plans…
2nd place at the Dakar – 20 years of work and experience
“You usually fully realize everything that happened at the Dakar with a delay of several days. This year’s Dakar was tough. But we fought until the very end against equal opponents. And I really enjoyed that. And I was happy with how our team functioned. Truly, each of the guys deserves his own credits,” says Martin Macik Jr., who won the Bedouin statuette this year at his 11th Dakar start. Although he came home 4 kg lighter, thanks to previous honest preparation he felt physically good until the end of the race and was able to keep a clear head. Navigator Frantisek Tomasek, who reliably detected all the navigation traps on the track, sat in the racing cabin with Martin for the eighth time. On-board mechanic David Svanda acted as a technical support for the crew for the fourth time, he monitored the condition of the special rally truck during the stages, quickly detected and solved all technical problems, and at the same time worked all year round on the construction of new vehicles. The crew of the MM Technology team managed to win 4 stages and the prologue at the Dakar. They also brought home 6 medals from the World Cup from Saudi Arabia.
The most challenging year in Saudi Arabia
“Of course, this year we also encountered some difficulties – in the second stage, a stone destroyed the brakes, our tires basically burned down. In the second half of the rally, we were held up by the river – we got stuck in the mud. Those were difficult moments. But it is all part of the Dakar. And thanks to previous experiences, we knew that we had to keep going full speed and not let up,” says Macik, appreciating that the organizers of the Dakar fulfilled their promise when they announced the roughest Saudi Arabian edition way before the start. The long and extremely rugged stages in the first half and the dunes of the Empty Quarter in the second part contributed to the difficulty. The weather also played a role. It made it difficult to drive through some sections of the track and at the same time complicated the work of the mechanics. There were even two marathon stages which were previously unplanned. Navigation wasn’t easy either. “It’s still a navigational competition and it’s no longer just a matter of hitting the waypoint somehow but it’s also about finding it for the first time. And Frantisek was able to do that. I think he is one of the best in terms of navigation,” says Martin Macik, adding that the crew was helped a lot by the relaxed atmosphere they were able to cultivate in the cabin. “You experience situations that you couldn’t even imagine, and if we were to lose our temper, we certainly wouldn’t have gone through the Empty Quater dunes so smoothly,” says Macik.
Cenda proved itself
“Cenda did not disappoint. In terms of technology, we were more concerned with details. The essential stuff worked fine. Most of the repairs came about because we got hit by a rock, we jumped somewhere. Overall, there were not many technical problems. And our trucks from Sedlcany also served other crews well,” says the head of the MM Technology team, Martin Macik Sr., who modified his first Dakar truck for Dakar 2003, together with Ladislav Fajtl, who was also part of the team this year. Even the orange special rally truck, in which the crew won 2nd place at this year’s Dakar, was built by the mechanics according to his design. Now, the Maciks are counting on that very truck for the next year’s Dakar. During the year, Martin Macik Sr. plans to upgrade it again. He even brought with him a long list of notes for further developments from Saudi Arabia. At the moment, two more racing machines are also being built in the facilities of MM Technology, which are already constructed according to the new technical specifications of the FIA. And they are also working on an electric special rally truck for one of the next editions of the Dakar. During this year, Claudio Bellina from the Italtrans Racing team, Kees Koolen from Project 2030 and Richard de Groot from the Fireman Dakar Team rode in Macik’s trucks.
There will be races throughout the year as well
This season, Cenda still plans to participate in several rallies, the popular Baja Aragon and the Rallye du Maroc, which serves as a great test before the Dakar every year. And the team is also counting on the traditional testing of the machinery in Tunisia – this will also involve the fans. The next step that now awaits the crew is the Dakar Obsessed events. Already in February and March, the crew and other team members will meet the fans. They will talk about everything they didn’t have time for during the January rally, watch and show videos and remember the most interesting situations that the team from Sedlcany experienced on the track this year.
Thank you to all our fans, partners, sponsors – we are glad to have you with us.