Buggyra Racing survived the first half of Dakar. Now comes the tough part.
The 6th stage of the first Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia brought Martin Šoltys and Josef Macháček to the first dunes. Both are dealing with all traps bravely and as a reward, they can enjoy a good position in the classification. While the Tatra Phoenix driver is still in the TOP 10, the five-time Dakar winner, who faced many issues in the beginning, has moved to the TOP 30.
For the last day before a break, the organisers had prepared the longest stage yet. But it did not mean that the competition would get any easier. Martin Šoltys, David Schovánek and Tomáš Šikola had to offer their fire extinguisher to one burning car. As it seems, literally everybody is struggling in this year’s Dakar. “Our intercom stopped working in the zone, so just before the start, we had to switch it for the one that Tomáš had. That meant he was unable to talk to us today. For the 2nd day in a row, we’ve struggled with our gearbox. We're losing gears from time to time. But other than, the car is working well and despite there was so much sand, it was better than in the previous days,” said Šoltys, who finished in the 14th place.
Every kilometre in the race is helping to develop the new Can-Am Buggyra MK50 XRS special and today Josef Macháček and Vlastimil Tošenovský added another portion of 478 kilometres. “While it was a very long stage, it was also fast, because we were hitting the limiter all the time. The dunes didn’t cause us any issues, because the foundations were quite stiff. This profile is very similar to Morocco, where the dunes are far away from each other, without any tricky parts. It was a fun experience. Yet, we had one tyre puncture and came up with some notes of what we want to change on our car during the free day,” said Macháček, who has moved up to the 28th position in the standings.
“For us, the most important thing is that we still have two vehicles in the race. The Can-Am is still in development, so it has child diseases, just as expected. It’s important to finish the race. Martin Šoltys is holding in the TOP 10 and while that has been our target, it’s always so hard to achieve. But the biggest challenge is still ahead of us – the 2nd half of this year’s Dakar,” said Buggyra Racing team manager Jan Kalivoda after the opening week in Saudi Arabia.
On Saturday, the 42nd edition of Dakar Rally stops for the well-deserved free day as the competitors are close to the capital city Riyadh. But as always, it won’t be a free day for the mechanics who will be attending the vehicles, preparing them for the 2nd half of this competition.