Dakar Begins with Technology Strike and Traditional Sirloin
On Thursday 29 December all members of the TATRA BUGGYRA RACING team met in Asunción to begin preparations for the start of thirty eighth edition of the most famous and roughest cross-country competition, the Dakar Rally. Martin Kolomý and Aleš Loprais are happy with their Tatras after a private test.
The TATRA BUGGYRA RACING team flew to South America in two parts for it was necessary to collect the technology in Buenos Aires and move twelve hundred kilometres north to Paraguay, the place where this Dakar edition will be started. “On Thursday the second part of the team arrived at Asunción so we are complete. Today each of us had to reload our things to the vehicles where we will spend the next couple of weeks. Clearly a big flood swept this place before our arrival attracting a mosquito invasion chasing us heavily now,” said the team manager Jan Kalivoda on Thursday.
On Friday the pilots of the TATRA BUGGYRA RACING team planned a private shakedown at a ranch a two-hour drive away from the bivouac. The pre-start high spirits were disturbed by technical problems of both Tatra Phoenix racing specials, which were readily resolved by the mechanics for Martin and Aleš to be able to test all they had planned to test. “The most important thing is that we did not give it up and are back here,” said Martin Kolomý after return to the bivouac with his typical smile, adding: “All works fine. Tomorrow just the technical approvals and the day after tomorrow we can begin.”
“For me this was the first acquaintance with Phoenix on macadam and I am satisfied. We did not speed up much and only the first stages will show what we are up to. Tomorrow will be my least favourite day at Dakar. The technical approvals are about collecting stamps and shaking hands with all participants. They are long and demanding,” said Aleš Loprais. The test was also satisfactory for Martin Prokop and Karel Trněný, who are getting used to the fully loaded truck with spare parts for quick assistance.
After return from the shakedown a surprise was prepared for the pilots and their accompanying team. The team cook Libor, despite the unfavourable weather tormenting the bivouac with tropic temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius in the morning and a heavy downpour in the afternoon, prepared the tradition sirloin steak in vegetable sauce and was praised by everybody for that, including “Kolomajz”.
On Saturday the administrative and technical approvals will take place. On New Year´s Day the ceremonial start will open the competition and the first live stage is scheduled for Monday January 2nd with the first nearly forty kilometres.