After First Stage Kolomý Shares Third Rank, Second Rank Missed Due to Communication Issue and Truck upside Down
Dakar Rally has begun with a drama of the Czech TATRA Buggyra Racing team in the very first stage. Before Martin Kolomý finished the measured section ranking third the crew had to resolve not only technical issues but also problems on the route. Around noon in addition the accompanying vehicle with journalists got lost when the Iritract tracking and rescue system failed.
Interesting but unpleasant was the news that the organizers lost contact with the accompanying media vehicle of the Czech TATRA Buggyra Racing team, in which the route was followed since early morning by photographer Martin Kozák and cameraman Petr Kubík. Luckily the story had a happy ending this time. After nearly two hours the off-road crew re-established contact with the racing team again. "The morning phone call from A.S.O. really unpleasantly surprised all of us. Of course we thought of a tracking system failure but when the boys did not contact us for nearly two hours all sorts of disastrous scenarios began to run through my mind. The approach of the organizers was really professional, though. They sent a helicopter immediately to look for the lost vehicle and engaged local police. Luckily this was a false alarm and the boys then began to communicate again and so we can continue supplying all at home with information and pictures from Dakar," commented on the unpleasant situation the Buggyra team manager Jan Kalivoda.
Before the measured section with the length of 175 kilometres a transfer of about the same length was prepared for the racing teams. A drama thirty minutes before start was prepared by a starter issue. However, this was nothing the experienced crew would not be able to resolve. Martin Kolomý began uncompromisingly since the very beginning, occupying since the beginning of the first stage one of the three leading ranks. However, since the middle of the measured section the Fat Boy began to lose a little due to an intercom failure, forcing the crew to find alternative ways of communication. Another delay was caused by a racing passenger car which had had an accident and was let on the route by the organizers right in front of Tatra with the starting number 506. "Not bad for the beginning. Minor complications did occur but we managed. Could have been better but I am satisfied. Now we must repair the intercom for otherwise Renda will soon lose voice," said Martin Kolomý in the finish, where despite the abovementioned troubles he ranked third sharing the third rank with his countryman Aleš Loprais.
Tatra 815 Buggyra worked excellently in the first stage of the rally and if it were not for the issues Martin Kolomý could have attacked the second rank. "The sea transport damaged our technology too, which was manifested by the issues with the starter and the intercom. I will check everything once again before the morning so that the boys can concentrate solely on racing tomorrow,“ commented on the problems the technical director of the Buggyra team Robin Dolejš.
The Monday second stage from Villa Carlos Paz to San Juan is two hundred kilometres shorter, with nearly double the length of the measured section, exactly 331 kilometres. "Today I nearly destroyed my vocal cords. But I am glad we managed after all. Tomorrow we are up to the first really hard stage. We were warned at the briefing that we will be heading towards the mountains with big vertical distances and long descents with dangerous slopes. They even warned us that wind animals may appear on the route, so I hope we will not kill any such animal, for I am sure Martin will not brake if one gets in his way,“ laughed the navigator René Kilián in the bivouac.