Kolomý Flies at Full Steam, Valtr Makes Up for Initial Loss
The fourth stage took the crews for the first time above 4,000 above sea level. This by itself brings problems to human organism as well as to the technology. Even the Tatra of Martin Kolomý could not avoid them. “The ideal configuration setting for altitudes around 4 thousand metres above sea level is always alchemy. Technologies suffer greatly, and not only the racing one. The accompanying vehicles are all rights in the provisional bivouac at Tarija and tomorrow all vehicles will meet again in Uyuni in Bolivia,” is how Robin Dolejš mentioned the fact that the crews were up to the marathon stage continuing with the following fifth stage without servicing.
Martin Kolomý started the fourth stage from the first position, thus for the first time experiencing the start from the front of the starting field. Although Marting held the accelerator on the floor he lost more than four minutes after the leaders. “Following yesterday´s rainstorm, when we hardly left the bivouac through the mud, this stage took place high in the mountains and in sunshine. This was a relatively easy route to be covered at full steam. Unfortunately we could not achieve maximum engine power and so we could not press on the elite. Now we are in the bivouac in the middle of the marathon stage without assistance of our technicians. I believe we will sleep well in this peace where no central exchange roars to pull up again tomorrow,” said the seventh ranking Kolomý in the finish, holding the same overall rank.
Also Jaroslav Valtr tried to ride quickly, having already shown in the third stage that the pilots of the quickest ten must also watch him. However, because of the nine-minute penalty Jarda dropped again in the results table for the third stage and had to make up for the loss again and overtake his slower opponents on the narrow roads. “Today was not demanding for navigators at all. We only prayed for no problem to appear and make us leave the truck for in these altitudes even getting out of the vehicle is very demanding. Luckily all was OK and our truck literally flew forward, only in the dust of the slower trucks ahead of us. We must make our way forward at last to have longer intervals between us and our rivals. Thirty seconds is really not enough.“
The stage was also successful for Tomáš Ouředníček in the car category, who occupied 50th rank and moved up to 47th overall rank. “We have not yet reached the peak altitude of the race track and yet our engine already loses power due to the altitude. Today we do not even have our assistance and so we will build our tents and go to bed. To drive for 400 measured kilometres without any reason for joy is really tiring,” summarised Ouředníček with disappointment.
Problems were on stock for other Czech crews as well. Martin Prokop turned his vehicle upside down and broke the windshield. Martin Kolomý got one for him in the course of the common dinner with the help of the media vehicle of the Tatra Buggyra Racing team which thus helped for a second time this year, for the first time pulling a car with a woman and two children from a mud trap.
The fifth stage on Thursday will bring the second half of the marathon stage already taking place in Bolivia. The measured special section will again take place high in the mountains where the crews will climb up to the altitude of 4,700 m above sea level.