At Dakar what matters is your position in the rankings after the event
This year’s Dakar Rally is going to enter history books as an event with 32 different stage winners from 17 countries and 5 continents.
Buggyr Racing team principal says it is proof of how strong rally is in marketing. “The Dakar winner automatically becomes a celebrity. Having that Bedouin trophy guarantees interesting opportunities. Also, the competition takes place at a perfect time. We’re now in times when big factory teams are preparing drivers for Dakar. And it’s the same for Buggyra Academy. The more winners, the better,” says Martin Koloc.
This year’s light prototype category winner Josef Macháček says that to win a stage is one thing, but to win the whole Dakar is something completely different. He compares it to the famous cycling event Tour de France, where Mark Cavendish won tens of stages, but he still has not arrived to Paris with a yellow jersey. An interesting fact is that both events have the same organiser. “I really appreciate anyone who has managed to win something at Dakar. However, winning a stage means that you have speed. Nothing else. And Dakar is a marathon,” he adds, bringing up an example of Meeke – Karjakin duo, that has won 6 times. “Both are very fast. Meeke won 5 races in the WRC championship. This year, he won 4 stages, but he was nowhere the top in the overall rankings. And the same for Karjakin. But it is important to look at the type of stage. I agree with Josef Kalina that Martin Macík is a professional, who works hard on himself and he keeps improving. However, with all due respect, he won 3 stages in which Russians were just protecting their positions in the overall standings and they didn’t care about somebody who might want to win a stage by just a few minutes. To risk for that, it was not worth it. They knew very well that at Dakar, what matters is your position in the rankings after the event.”