Decision Made among Dunes, Kolomý with Cut Tongue Ranks Sixth
The historically first marathon stage in the truck category of the Dakar Rally is over. The crew of Martin Kolomý did not succeed exactly as they had imagined but still improved the position of the TATRA Buggyra Racing team in the overall ranking by move to the eighth rank. Kolomý had to pay with his tongue for that, though!
Yesterday ´s stage again combined quick sections in salt plains with sand dunes in the desert. The sands decided about the winner again. The crew of Martin Kolomý struggled with the sands with some little complications when after climbing one of the dunes they got stuck on a rock but despite that they ranked sixth in the stage and moved to the overall eighth rank. Their move was also facilitated by withdrawal of one Kamaz truck piloted by Viazovich of Belarus.
"Today dunes again but this time I believe we managed them better than yesterday. We were only delayed by one of the dunes which we climbed to look around a little but when on its top we realized it was a rock buried in sand. The bang clicked my teeth together with my tongue between them and cut in halves and even our windshield was broken by that. We got stuck a little and had to dig us out but eventually the result of the stage was not that bad," said Martin Kolomý after arrival in the bivouac, in the overall raking losing less than four minutes behind the seventh ranking Van Vliet and less than an hour behind the sixth Stacey.
What is interesting about the bivouac in Iquique is the descent from a desert mountain with the height of over 1000 m above sea level down to the sea level and right to the bivouac. The extremely demanding descent is popular not only among the crews but also among the audiences who can enjoy an unusual show here. "The descent was fantastic, especially for the team who for the first time could see the crew at work as the stage ended right in the bivouac and we had a wonderful view of the whole descent. Just the waiting for Martin to appear on the horizon was endless but eventually the boys managed excellently and moved upward in the ranking again,“ said the TATRA Buggyra Racing team manager Jan Kalivoda.
For the first time in history of the modern as well as the original African Dakar the race stopped in a single bivouac for long 4 days because of the marathon stages which were experienced live by the truck crews for the first time in history this year. This period could be used by the accompanying teams staying in Iquique for taking a rest as well as for preparation of the racing specials for further struggles. We will see whether this style will be continued in future. "Today we had a good night ´s sleep as the bivouac was very peaceful. Although the Kamaz teams worked on the trucks most of all, the silence was still unusual," said Kolomý with a feeling of pleasure while the co-pilot David Kilián agreed: „I think all is well. At least for us. We only performed the DTM (Daily Technical Maintenance), prepared the tyres and had a decent sleep too. I like the spirit of the marathon stage very much and I believe we will not be the only people happy with its continuation by the organizers in future.“
The crews in the truck and passenger car category will enjoy a free day on Monday. The race has entered its second half and that is time for assessment of to-date progress of the famous Dakar Rally. "We have tried to drive reasonably. We cannot afford driving at the brink of maximum risk like for example Kamaz pilots do. This is not our way. We talked about that with De Rooy yesterday and even he who has another two colleagues in the team will not take this portion of risk either. But I do not think we have performed badly," was the assessment by David Kilián, seconded by Martin Kolomý: "This year ´s dunes are among the most difficult as far as I remember. On top of that the organizers have played with us a little by making us drive the same sections several times with confusing ruts all around. Sometimes it is a bit of a lottery who will guess right and who will guess wrong in the dunes. This was also apparent on the progress and the results, for that matter. I do not think there was a crew that managed all three dune sections ideally. All crews got stuck in the dunes at least once. I think next time we will spend more time by preparation for driving in the sand.“