Dakar Starts at Last. Kolomý Begins with Fourth Rank
The second stage was originally scheduled as one of the longest but because of the rainstorm the timed section for cars and trucks was eventually shortened to 387 kilometres. Unlike the first racing day when a heavy downpour swept the whole of Argentina Monday even saw some sunshine falling on the participants in the thirty eighth edition of Dakar Rally.
The opening day of the Dakar Rally was marked with a surprise in the form of an initial loss of the Kamaz factory team whose quickest pilot, Mardeev, the defender of last year´s victory, only ranked eighth. Martin Kolomý even complained after arrival that one of the trucks of the Russian team was slowing him down. “A very nice stage, the truck worked perfectly. The only thing slowing me down towards the end was one of the Kamaz trucks, without which the result might have been even better. But we are only at the beginning and so I am satisfied,“ said Kolomý in the finish of the stage.
Jaroslav Valtr met with his portion of bad luck at the very beginning. His situation was made even worse by his start from the depth of the starting field. The bad luck was represented by failure of front when drive which left him on rear wheel drive for the whole day, plus by a defect towards the end of the day on top of that. “I am sure we collected our portion of bad luck at the very beginning and now things will only be better. The missing front wheel drive made the truck slide horribly. Then our brakes began to overheat and we ended with a defect. Tomorrow we will again start from the rear and we must eventually make our way forward. On the other hand, when we passed the truck of Van den Brink, all in flames, we saw our problems as a mere trifle,“ said Valtr, reminding of the story of the Dutch pilot whose Renault burned down completely in the second part of the second stage. When Jarda passed the charred wreck the Dutch crew only helplessly danced around.
“Both trucks work well and I am glad they do. A couple of parturient faults were expected with Phoenix but we will correct them before the daybreak so that the boys can set off well prepared again,“ said David Vršecký.
A promising beginning of his Dakar Rally was also staged by Tomáš Ouředníček in the car category. “I am enthusiastic about our premiere. It is true that we overtook one car after another but 51st rank after the opening stage is more than we expected,” said Tomáš, who got into a traffic jam before the start and had to start from 95th position. “There was no time for appropriate preparation for the start, not even for tyre pressure adjustment. But I soon got used to the car skidding,“ said the pilot of Hummer with satisfaction.