Kolomý Gained Fifth Rank by Force
San Luis/San Rafael - To separate the wheat from the chaff as soon as possible seemed to be the exact intention of the organizers of the Dakar Rally. Already the second stage of the race tried the skills of the pilots on sand dunes for the first time. Differences began to appear after the four hundred measured kilometres and the crews were immediately nicely sorted. However, Martin Kolomý of the Tatra Buggyra Racing team excelled and passed the finish line as the best Czech racing pilot with the resulting fifth rank. He gained the fifth rank literally by force due to some difficulties with steering.
The crew of the "Fat Boy" started the second stage from the eleventh starting position despite the thirty second rank in the first stage. Kolomý used one of his wild cards received for his last year ´s final ranking among the elite ten. Thanks to the joker he could now start right after the current "top ten". "This was great help. We would hardly reduce the time loss from the first stage if starting from the rear position. We knew we needed to speed up and above all that we were well equipped to do so," explained Martin Kolomý of the Tatra Buggyra Racing team.
A three hundred kilometre transfer waited for the trucks before the second measured section of the Dakar Rally. Only after the transfer the four hundred kilometre race actually started. In the course of the measured section the crews first tested their racing specials on sand dunes. The dunes were prepared for them at the very end of the stage in the traditional grey dune region of Nihuil. "The dunes were difficult, we had to reverse about four times to cross them. We lost some time before we found the correct track," described Kolomý.
The second stage was supposed to be all about speed, though. The organisers even spoke about the quickest speed test of this year ´s rally. "They were correct, we kept the truck speed near the speed limit all the time, well, before the dunes appeared in the end," confirmed the pilot Martin Kolomý.
Maybe it was the speed that was underestimated by many on the hard road surface. A number of competitors stopped on the route, whether due to technical issues or due to accidents. Only forty seven crew reached the finish. "We could see a burnt truck, but also the winner of the first stage, Merdeyev, lying on the side. We regret his finishing the race so early. He is a nice chap and I would wish he could have stayed with us longer," revealed the co-pilot of the "fat boy" René Kilián.
Kolomý was lucky this time. He finally ranked fifth as the best Czech pilot in the finish. He lost only slightly more than twenty minutes behind the winner, the Dutch De Rooy. "This was a hard toiled fifth rank. We are a little troubled by steering. For example I had to ride across the river basin completely without the servo, so it was a piece of hard work indeed. Luckily we have reached the finish and with a super result," expressed Martin Kolomý his satisfaction.
Even though the Czech trucks could not completely avoid problems either, Czech camps released good news, especially those with Gyrtech support, reporting that the race has not yet swallowed anybody and all of them still continue.
The Dutch pilot De Rooy, winner of this stage, holds the interim lead. The Tatra Buggyra Racing team holds fourteenth interim ranking. "I am satisfied, the truck works excellently, and so we still wait to show what is in it," said Kolomý.
The Tuesday third stage of the race will take the crews from San Rafael to San Juan. The pilots will have to cover 596 km altogether. The measured section will comprise 301 km this time. "Again we will do our best to get closer to the lead. I hope for a piece of good luck to support our efforts," added Martin Kolomý of the Tatra Buggyra Racing team.
Results - Stage 2 (400 km): 1. De Rooy (NED) Iveco +3:58:17, 2. Shibalov (RUS) Kamaz +13:20, 3. Van Vliet (NED) MAN +15:09, 4. Stacey (NED) Iveco +22:43, 5. Kolomý (CZE) Tatra Buggyra +23:14, 14. Loprais (CZE) Tatra +45:09, 20. Tománek (CZE) Tatra +1:10:11, 25. Vildman (CZE) Liaz +1:27:18, 26. Ardavichus (KAZ) Tatra +1:41:54, 33. Valtr (CZE) Liaz +2:09:55, 36. Vrátný (CZE) Tatra +2:20:40.
Overall interim results: 1. De Rooy (NED) Iveco +6:46:42, 2. Van Vliet (NED) MAN +13:57, 3. Shibalov (RUS) Kamaz +18:52, 4. Stacey (NED) Iveco +29:19, 5. Nikolaev (RUS) Kamaz +31:27, 7. Loprais (CZE) Tatra +43:46, 14. Kolomý (CZE) Tatra Buggyra +57:50, 20. Vildman (CZE) Liaz +1:47:23, 23. Ardavichus (KAZ) Tatra +1:56:43, 24. Tománek (CZE) Tatra +2:00:27, 28. Valtr (CZE) Liaz +2:17:40, 34. Vrátný (CZE) Tatra +2:51:36.