Kolomý on Stage among Elite, Today he Must Have Eyes on the Back of His Head
Thirty seventh Dakar Rally is officially opened! On the eve of the first racing day all 414 crews presented themselves in the streets of Buenos Aires, including Martin Kolomý and the TATRA Buggyra Racing team. The two-week marathon starts today with the opening 838 km stage.
The lull before the storm. That is the best characteristic of Saturday in Argentina where all crews will leave today for the first rally route. Every race starts with a briefing of the pilots by the organizers of the competition and Dakar is no difference in this respect. Just that the briefing is noticeably longer. The manager of the competition, Etienne Lavigne, faced 670 pilots and co-pilots of the 414 crews. "Today was the last calm day of the coming two weeks. In the morning we all took part in the first, this time mass briefing. I like this atmosphere, I always wonder why so many people come to voluntarily torment themselves,“ smiles Kolomý. The theme of the briefing was organisational and safety information as well as marketing and sport comments, such as that last year attracted 4 million spectators and the organizers expect this number to be beaten this year.
The mechanics could take a rest too for Fat Boy was locked in the closed parking since the technological inspection. "There was no work for us today. If this was true till the end of Dakar I would not mind (laughter). Today we were relaxing, tuning up communication and logistic systems and waited for the morning start. We are ready,“ said the high-spirited technical director of the Buggyra team Robin Dolejš.
The free day was used for a visit to the background of the TATRA Buggyra Racing team by the manager of the Czech Tourism agency in Argentina, Patricia Ana Cmol, the Ambassador Petr Kopřiva and a group of journalists promoting the Czech Republic in Latin America. "The visit was a pleasant enlivening of the preparations for the start of the race. We feel greatly honoured to represent our country here in South America, especially when seeing such support on the part of the Embassy as well as representatives of Czech Tourism,“ commented on the official visit the Buggyra team manager Jan Kalivoda.
On the eve of the competition the starting ceremony took place. Martin Kolomý and the Kilián brothers with the start number 506 presented themselves in the Buenos Aires city centre in front of several hundred thousand spectators among the elite. The several-hour show was started by motorcyclists followed by elite top 10 crews of the automobile and truck categories. The last vehicles passed over the ramp late in the evening. The local people showed again how they love motorsport. "It is fascinating to see how many people gather along the road to cheer the crews. So we enjoyed it today and now we must sleep well and start well tomorrow before noon. I cannot wait to start,“ said the enthusiastic Kolomý after the ceremonial start.
The members of the TATRA Buggyra Racing team had the last day on Saturday to tune up not only internal communication in the course of the competition stages but also the connection with the Czech Republic. "We also tune up systems for media communication to work well during the race. Every day we successfully send a lot of visual material to inform all at home - our families, fans as well as media. Our media team works excellently,“ said the happy Jan Kalivoda.
The first stage from Buenos Aires to Villa Carlos Paz will take the crews to the very centre of Argentina in the north-west direction towards Cordoba. The 838 kilometres long route will offer a bit of everything: long straights as well as sharp curves. "Tomorrow we will cover the first stage, one of the calmer ones, following the information of the organizers. The length is a little over 800 km, but the measured section is only 175 km long. Nevertheless Stacey starts in front of us an Mardeev behind us and so we must step on the gas from the very beginning. This section of the rally is very dusty too and so we will have to have to be all eyes,“ said David Kilián studying the competition itinerary.