FAT BOY is Naughty, but Kolomý Holds Seventh Rank
Although the tenth stage of the Dakar series was expected to be ideal for the Tatra 815 Buggyra racing special, Martin Kolomý only ranked twenty fifth in it, faced with steering issues of his Fat Boy. Kolomý was not alone facing trouble but despite that he still holds the seventh overall rank.
When remembering this year ´s tenth stage of the Dakar Rally everybody will certainly talk about the weather. The start took place in the cold, dry and dusty Atacama on the Chile side of the frontier at over 3,000 metres above sea level at temperature below zero. The transfer section even attacked the altitude of 4,841 m above sea level. The finish was in Argentina in a tropic storm 3,600 m of altitude lower. Thus not only technology but also people were exposed to extreme conditions in the course of this stage in total length of 859 km.
The very quick stage brought no big surprise. The leading pair, only exchanging positions in the overall ranking, was accompanied to the imaginary rostrum by Viazovich of Belarus and his MAZ truck. Today ´s measured section was a complete failure of the Czech crew headed by the pilot Martin Kolomý. Due to issues caused by the altitude and temperature changes their Tatra 815 Buggyra ranked 25th in this stage. Luckily the Dutch pilot Van Vliet, challenging the seventh overall rank of Martin, lost in the overall ranking as well today and so no change in the overall ranks occurred. Thanks to timely reaction of the team and use of the last "wild card" Martin will start for the eleventh stage from a more advantageous thirteenth starting position.
"Today an ideal route for the Tatra chassis. Unfortunately components so far working well began to fail, probably due to the altitude and also the sudden temperature changes. These are unfortunately things we cannot test at home and only have to face for the first time at Dakar. The worst thing is when you have to get out of the truck on the way, which we had to do twice today. Every time we then tried to make up for the loss and thus overtook some other trucks up to three times in the course of the day. They must have though we were making fun of them. It is a pity, we should not lose time like this, but luckily the overall ranking was not affected this time,“ said Martin Kolomý after arrival at the bivouac at Salta, after having made a little "cosmetic treatment" to his Tatra by hitting a rock at the end of the stage. "For the last hundred kilometres we pressed hard and even reduced a little the advantage of the leading crews, despite one mistake I made. Luckily just the side of the Tatra body was damaged by that,“ said Kolomý with a smile after having been the quickest of all in the last section of the stage.
The mechanics of the TATRA Buggyra Racing team worked on the racing special till early morning to prevent further problems with the steering. "We are slowly approaching the end, he last three stages are ahead of us and I think nothing is decided yet. The crew will fight till the very end and we with them. Today we had a long nigh. We believe the "fat boy" will not be naughty any more and its pilot and his crew will be allowed to concentrate on racing,“ said the technical director of the team Robin Dolejš early in the morning.
“In the course of the ear we tested intensely, covering thousands of kilometres and testing virtually every component. But only here at Dakar we could confront these tests with the reality. We already know that we will have to intensify and change completely our training in the dunes. After today we also know that we will have to simulate stress on certain parts caused by high altitudes and temperatures below zero. Nevertheless it needs to be noted that we have only been at Dakar for a second year and we have managed to prepare the Tatra racing special in the one year on a very high level. Great success at the greatest rally of the world cannot be expected to come immediately,” was the assessment of the past ten stages by the constructor of the Dakar racing special David Vršecký.
Wednesday will certainly be remembered by the staff of the motel in the middle of the Andes at the beginning of the measured section of the tenth stage of the competition. They could see in one moment over coffee or a sandwich winning crews of both the truck and the passenger car categories, such as Stephane Peterhansel of Peugeot, Yazeed Al Rajhi, Giniel de Villiers or the defender of last year ´s champion title Nani Roma, spending in a friendly atmosphere the last minutes before the start of the measured section.
Today the crews are facing less than two hundred racing kilometres, mostly on a stony and very quick road. Like yesterday the trucks and the passenger cars will start for the measured section together. "In the course of the briefing we were warned especially about driving in narrow eroded river basins and also about viewers who love motor sport in Argentina and are virtually everywhere. And I personally hope that tomorrow we will not have to get of the truck on the way at all and will be able to step on the accelerator properly deep,“ said the co-pilot David Kilián.