Kolomý Fights with Dunes and Prefers to Sleep in Exclusion
The crew of Martin Kolomý was tormented by dunes of Atacama desert in yesterday ´s seventh stage of the Dakar Rally from Iquique to Uyuni. Despite that the TATRA Buggyra Racing team stayed on the overall ninth rank in the interim ranking with a minimum loss after the eighth rank. After a night in separation from the team Martin Kolomý and Kilián brothers return to the team bivouac at Iquique today.
The sixth, seventh and today ´s eighth stage of the race are situated to the surroundings of Iquique in Chile, notorious for its treacherous dunes of Atacama desert. These dunes have tormented many crews. To find the right way was the more difficult today as the route crossed the same section as yesterday and the ruts left by the trucks on the previous day were confusing. The crews often circled in the dunes to and fro before they found the way out. The race sometimes rather looked like a labyrinth.
"Today my nerves were really strained. My brother and me kept telling Martin to stop on top of a dune for us to be able to look around a little and find the ideal trace but he stood on the accelerator and we whirled around like the wind in a box. We thought that it would be better to lose a couple of seconds looking around on a dune than a couple of minutes circling below the dune. But I understand that the situation looks different when you hold the steering wheel or when you sit on the passenger seat as the navigator and the time to make the right decision is damned short,“ said the navigator René Kilián in the finish of stage seven.
In the seventh stage the Kamaz hegemony was broken by the Czech pilot Aleš Loprais together with the Dutch pilot De Rooy, who ranked first and second in this stage. Their team mates Van Vliet and Stacey were not that lucky and got stuck in the labyrinth of dunes like the crew of Martin Kolomý. Another pilot who managed the dunes well was Arthur Ardavichus who passed the fifth control point on one of the leading ranks. But then the technology betrayed him and he was not yet included in the results table late in the night. The crew of Martin Kolomý ranks ninth in the overall ranking after seven stages of the race.
"The dunes were horrible today. The weather was very hot and the sand was really treacherous. We were warned that the ruts left by our trucks on the previous day would be confusing but I did not think that we would got stuck there like this. Eventually we managed to reduce the loss a little in the second part of the day and so nothing is lost and we continue." And how Martin commented on the marathon bivouac? "After those dunes today I would prefer to disappear to some seclusion and see nobody, but this will probably be impossible here. Anyway this is a good idea and I hope the organizers will continue with this in the following years.“
For the first time in the history of Dakar Rally the crews spend a night today outside the standard bivouac and separately from their mechanics and accompaniment. Everybody was only allowed to take his sleeping bag, the ground cloth and a meal pack with them to the background built for the crews by the organizers right in the desert near Iquique, where they will have to stay until the start of stage eight. An interesting aspect is that the provisional dormitory does not offer any showers and this revives the idea of the original Dakar which was about racing without the achievements of modern civilisation. For routine hygiene the crews can only use running water and a wash basin.
"The boys called a moment ago telling us that they are all right and have a lot to talk about today. Although they lost in the dune they really rushed in the final part of the day and made up for a lot of the loss. Tomorrow the eighth stage and then a free day,“ said the manager of the TATRA Buggyra Racing team Jan Kalivoda.