Josef Macháček: Assignment completed…
Just a few days after finishing Dakar Rally 2020, the 5-time quad category winner Josef Macháček and the chief designer David Vršecký sat down with an empty piece of paper. Right away they agreed on a title: Without following changes, it doesn’t make sense to do another Dakar.
Today, Josef Macháček laughs about it: “The most important thing was that we had agreed on it all basically right away and the guys could start to work. By the end of October, I can now say that if the Dakar Rally 2021 happens, and I believe that it will, I’m going to race with a Can-Am vehicle that’s like two generations above the buggy that I had this year.”
Not a victim of an experiment
He was also happy with David Vršecký saying that he cannot even imagine bringing a vehicle that is so difficult to drive to the finish. “Also, I don’t consider myself to be a testing experiment or even a victim of experience. I knew what I’m getting into. I did Dakar in South America with buggies back in 2014 and 2016. And then also lots of smaller races. This January, it was so much about the head. The goal wasn’t to win one stage and then to end it, but to make it to the finish and gain as much data as possible, which we did. Considering that we had only 58 days to prepare the vehicle, even ‘making it to the end’ means so much. While we were able to use top facilities to build a great vehicle, it’s just a shame that these weird times don’t allow us to test it. I’m glad for Germany and Poland and I hope that I’ll be able to take it to the sand before November 23, when the vehicle is shipping out.”
Tougher is better
When it comes to a new route, the 5-time Dakar winner believes that the best way to understand is on the track itself. “When you read about the track, it says that 80% of it is on the sand, but then it turns out that it’s just a 5-centimetre layer with a solid surface like a concrete underneath.” Also, Josef Macháček would not mind even a harder race than the one that took place in Saudi Arabia for the first time this year. “Sure, the organisers don’t have it easy. Of course, health and drivers’ lives are in the first place. But what is different is that while stars like Peterhansel, Sainz, Loeb, Nikolajev, Price, Alonso and others don’t see a problem in it, the supporting teams with cooks, doctors, timekeepers, see Dakar as a normal job. That’s why they require the maximum comfort, hotels, internet. Unfortunately, you can’t run without them and the organisers must make compromises and the tracks must also fulfil these requirements, so we often race around cities.”