Enge did not finish, but survived…
And that is exactly what the Sharqiya International Baja 2021 was about. A successful Dakar Rally participant Yazeed Al Rajhi and his navigator had to be airlifted to the hospital, while the quad bikes category driver Darej Riyad Al Shammari, unfortunately, did not survive the crash.
Baja Saudi was supposed to feature 2 stages with more than 200 kilometres long specials and a special opening prologue stage. “It was short and quite challenging. There were many waypoints and also very soft sand in some places. We’re still getting used to each other with Rudy, it was my first race with a navigator, who spoke to me in English,” said Tomáš after the prologue.
However, then the weather forced its way, throwing in a sandstorm and the first stage had to be cancelled. The following day, the FIA Cross Country Rally event finally began. However, it all ended for Enge and Briani after only 80 kilometres. “We started quite well with Rudy; we had a nice drive. But then we got to this dune and a jump, after which the vehicle was unable to continue. In the end, we managed to fix the Can-AM DV50, got ourselves to the bivouac and we’re preparing for more testing. Once again, it shows that there is never enough experience when racing in the sand. On the other hand, we’ll learn from this and move forward,” said Tomáš Enge in the finish.
During the race, Josef Macháček also made his way to Saudi Arabia, where he is going to participate in the planned testing of the Can-Am DV50 special. “Tomáš told me, that the vehicle has evolved, which is perfectly fine. I can’t wait. Over the past decades, the sand has really got under my skin,” said this year’s Dakar winner of the light prototypes category before leaving for Saudi Arabia.