Frog Helps Kolomý Jump One Rank Higher, Cameraman Born for a Second Time
In the ninth stage of the Dakar Rally from Iquique to Calama the crew of Martin Kolomý successfully avoided any problems, which was ascribed by the Bruntál pilot to the presence of his talisman, the big-teethed frog. The TATRA Buggyra Racing team has jumped up to the seventh overall rank. Hot moments were experience not only by Kolomý but also by a cameraman who nearly ended under the wheels of Fat Boy on Tuesday.
After a day off the Dakar Rally was resumed by the trucks and passenger cars by its ninth stage, again common to all categories. The pilots experienced the last encounter with the sand dunes in the surroundings of Iquique and transferred along quick roads to the Calama bivouac. The bivouac, like the whole stage, were extremely dusty, which made them the least favoured section of the whole Dakar competition.
The leader of the overall ranking and the second ranking crew kept their ranks. The best performance on the track beginning with sand dunes and continuing along dusty river basins was shown by the Russian pilot Mardeev, who covered the whole section in 5:19:29 hours. The third rank was occupied by De Rooy, who is however out of the struggle for the overall podium ranks due to his loss from the first half of the race. On the other hand Martin Kolomý improved his ranking, moving to the seventh rank thanks to his seventh quickest time in the stage, leaving behind the Dutch crew of Van Vliet.
"Horrible bone breaking track! I will certainly need rectification of the whole body, for what the organizers prepared for us was a real massacre. We arrived completely broken to pieces and dehydrated, for the permanent hits caused that we lost our bottles with drinks somewhere and did not have time to look for them. Eventually the total time was not bad, though. And thanks to the time achieved and the frog accompanying us we jumped one rank up,“ said Martin Kolomý after arrival at the bivouac.
The ninth stage will be remembered for ever by one of the official cameramen. After trying to take the best snap on one of the dunes he was surprised by a sudden arrival of Tatra right in his direction. The cameraman was born for a second time at that moment. Martin manager to turn the steering wheel rapidly and deflect the truck route from the cameraman thus rescuing his life which could have been ended under the wheels of Fat Boy. "The people are real fools. It is nice that they cheer and chase for the best photo or snap but they risk a lot. Today it was a near miss in the dunes. Although I did see him hen you are on top of a dune which declines somewhere you cannot really control the direction you go in. He was really lucky and me too, I would not want to hear my voice of conscience for the rest of my life for having killed him,“ sighed the pilot of Tatra 815 Buggyra with relief.
Today the truck and the passenger car categories had another joint start of the measured section, which was one of the longest, being 358 kilometres long. The profile of the track reminded of a roller coaster, as the crews started at more than 3,000 metres above sea level and climbed up to 4,500 m above sea level for several times then. "As they said, it really was quite demanding. Tomorrow we will transfer back to Argentina again and start early in the morning, so it will be a long day. We have to regenerate, collect strength and fight for another move up in the ranking,“ revealed Wednesday plans of the team David Kilián.
"We have covered a relatively short transfer but tomorrow we will have to cover a little over 700 km of transfer in high altitudes again. Today the bivouac is at 3 thousand metres above sea level already and we feel that. In addition we have to put everything necessary together for return to Argentina and so there is no time to waste. The accompaniment will start early in the morning for everything to be prepared in time,“ added to the statement of one of the Kilián brothers the team manager Jan Kalivoda.