The first race of the season will be “fratricidal,” we built the competition ourselves
Dakar Big Shock! Racing team starts in the first race of this season. Baja Poland, a race motorsport fans have been looking forward to for a long time, will send drivers on an off-road track leading to a military area near Szczecin on September 4. The race will be all the more interesting because there will be three Czech trucks which were built in the Sedlcany workshops of the Big Shock! Racing team. Iveco Powerstar called Charles will be driven by Martin Macik Jr. For him, the Polish rally is above all an important test before the upcoming Dakar. The starting list also includes Jaroslav Valtr with the same car model, which was built in Sedlcany as well. At the same time, the legendary Liaz Francis, with which Martin Macik reached the Dakar finish in 5th place in 2018, is back in action. This time, however, Daniel Stiblik, a truck trial driver, will get behind the wheel. He rented the truck from the Big Shock! Racing team for his first long-distance race. The crews of all three trucks go on their own and try to set the fastest time, but together they will defend the Czech colours.
Tests under fire
Excited members of the Big Shock! Racing team have arrived in rainy Poland on Tuesday. They dismantled the bivouac, started a fire and immediately set to work. “We are happy that the racing is back on. The team is complete and ready. Navigator Frantisek Tomasek couldn’t wait to be back. David Svanda will also be in the cabin. All the mechanics arrived, and so did the service MAN and the Motor Home. We have both our trucks here, Charles and Francis. We rented the Liaz to guys who want to try out a marathon rally. We are looking forward to some racing, but we also need to test a lot. That’s why we’re there 2 days earlier,” Martin Macik explained. The new automatic gearbox needs to be tested in sandy terrain, of which there is a lot here. At the same time, before the start of the Polish rally, it was necessary to set up Charles’ chassis for the local terrain and work on a few more things related to the engine. On Wednesday, the yellow truck travelled the road of the military area until 2 pm before he was chased away by training gunfire. Testing drives continue during Thursday as well. In total, Charles will cover over 766 km, of which 406 are part of the race itself. On Thursday, the team moved its bivouac to Szczecin, where technical inspections and a 7-kilometre prologue took place on Friday.
The first race of the season is here
On Saturday, the truck crews will enjoy 2 challenging stages, each of which covers 172 kilometres. “After a break, there’s a lot of work ahead. The track is challenging here, a lot of braking and accelerating. We are curious how the automatic gearbox handles it. According to the information we have at our disposal, it should help us a lot in the sand,“ flight mechanic David Svanda reported. Moreover, on Sunday, Baja Poland will continue with another four stages. “We didn’t have much competition among trucks, so we had to build it ourselves,” Martin Macik laughed and added: “I’m really curious how the individual trucks, each of which went through our workshop, will do. I also drive the Liaz here and I must say that there’s still something to it. Charles and Francis are different, but they both go quite fast.” Martin Macik’s crew traditionally doesn’t consider trucks to be the only competition in the Baja Poland race. They will measure their powers against the complete starting field. In previous years, they managed to leave most regular passenger cars way behind.