For Racing Specials Tatra Phoenix in Finish and Loprais Best Czech Pilot of This Dakar
The Tatra Buggyra Racing team successfully finished the difficult Dakar Rally and Buenos Aires was reached by both crews, Aleš Loprais, Jan Tománek and Jiří Stross, and Martin Kolomý, René Kilian and David Kilian. In addition Loprais adds to his racing account the status of the best Czech of the thirty ninth edition of the famous competition.
The rally was not easy for the Czech team. Despite that Martin Kolomý achieved his second stage victory in career, winning the very first stage and taking the lead. If it were not for the three-minute penalisation for exceeded speed limit in the connecting section he would have returned to the lead after stage three again. Aleš Loprais was in the top 10 four times and if it were not for the loss caused by servo pump replacements he would have been among the top eight before the rest day. However, there is no “if” in sport.
“Feelings? Certainly relief and happiness that we are here. The first half of the race was a purgatory. It was certainly one of the most difficult Dakar Rally competitions I have lived through here. The latter half was nice. To get from fourteenth to seventh rank is more than success for us, kind of satisfaction after the problems we had. I would like to thank god, my team, my family and sponsors for helping me push it all the way to here,“ said Aleš Loprais with satisfaction in the finish of the last stage.
And the opinion of this Dakar from navigator Jan Tománek? “Of course one of the most successful of all, for to get to top ten, and after such problems, is a success indeed. Pity the stages were shortened so much after we eliminated the technical issues. We were thus deprived of the possibility to move even higher up. But the seventh overall rank is super and every time you reach the finish counts.“
The crew of Martin Kolomý again showed their speed and quality confirming to belong to the narrow world elite in the truck category. “This edition was very interesting for us. We had a lot of technical issues to resolve, there were the cancelled stages, nothing easy. But we have both trucks in the finish. That has proven again that Tatra is a good truck and that we can always succeed in putting it together. I thought I would be better off with the new truck. Of course I expected some child diseases but I regret they extended our time on the road so much. But I am glad we are here and we are all right,” said Martin Kolomý after reaching the finish.
“Dakar 2017 is over. Unfortunately, the ranking is not what we had wished it to be. But the main thing is we have finished the race, and that counts too. We could not wipe off the loss we had developed due to the weather and the poorly organised logistics of the route. Of course this was the same for everybody, but for me this was the worst Dakar of all,“ said David Kilian.
Successful was also the participation of the drive units of Gyrtech produced by the Buggyra Technology Center. All trucks driven by Gyrtech finished 39th Dakar Rally. The make has the highest representation in the top fifteen, a whole third.