Kolomý Holds Podium Rank, Tatras Tormented by Speed Limiter
The second stage of Dakar Rally from Resistencia to San Miguel reminded of a festival of speed, when the TATRA BUGGYRA RACING team pilots drove at full steam with their accelerators depressed to the floor for 80 % of the 284 km measured section! Despite problems with speed limiter Martin Kolomý achieved eighth best time and holds overall third rank. Aleš Loprais dropped to eleventh overall rank.
The temperature attacking the limit of 45 degrees Centigrade was hard not only for the crews but also for their technologies. Martin Prokop´s engine cooling system began to boil and he had to drive without power for 190 kilometres. “We even could not drink for our drinking water was boiling too,“ said the only Czech pilot in the car category. A much worse outcome was on stock for Xavier Pons, ranking second after the first stage, who had an accident after a couple of kilometres and had to wait for assistance car to help him. The nine-fold world rally champion Sebastien Loeb with his Peugeot coped best with the traps on the route.
In the truck category the quickest tempo was set by Martin Kolomý with his Tatra, who started from the first position after his victory in the first stage. However, that also meant that he was the first to catch up with the slower cars and buggies in front of him. “We drove in the dust most of the time, you cannot see over 1 m behind those cars, so the risk was high and we drove as best as we could. But our electric equipment failed so I am afraid of exceeded speed limit. We had to watch for it a lot and that cost us some time,“ said Kolomý in the finish. The same were the feelings of his team mate: “Today was not very successful for us, a lot of dust and non-functioning speed limiter. There may be some penalisations. The stage was about survival and that we managed,” was the comment of Aleš Loprais added to Kolomý´s evaluation of the day. Aleš finally ranked eleventh and the same rank belongs to his in the overall ranking.
Luckily, the worries of both Czech pilots did not materialise after all. “I am glad there were no penalisations for us for that always forces spirits down. So we can continue in the third stage with minimum loss after the leading ranks. Wednesday will be very long, with the mountains and the neutralisation, so I hope we will all manage perfectly,“ said the team manager Jan Kalivoda.
Even the co-pilots agreed with the inappropriate route selection. “Whether there were at least 20 curves altogether I am not sure, otherwise 140 kph all the time,“ said the mechanic Jirka Stross, seconded by René Kilian: “The route was so quick that we drove at the maximum permitted speed for 80% of its total length.“
A much more successful progress of the stage was experiences by Karel Trněný, who cannot think of any high rank for the five-tonne stock of spares for the Ford of Martin Prokop and Tatras Phoenix on the deck. “I am glad they accepted our protest and deducted the penalty for us, but the starting position was not beneficial at all. We had to overtake a lot of trucks, but also buggies and motorbikes. Despite that our time pleased us and stimulated our efforts in the next stages,“ said Karel Trněný in the finish, reached with thirty-fourth rank.
Stage three with the total length of 757 kilometres will take participants in Dakar Rally to the incredible altitude of 4 895 m above sea level. The truck route will be different and will include 199 measured kilometres.