Kolomý Ranks Second in Snow, Valtr Moves Up to Tenth Rank
This year the weather has been playing with the participants in the Dakar Rally. After the sunlit start of the second part of the marathon stage the crews reported rain, hailstorm and snow from the route. A sandstorm even swept the Uyuni bivouac. Members of the TATRA BUGGYRA RACING team even had to put on their winter outfits when the temperature dropped near the zero.
Yesterday´s fifth stage moved the whole convoy from Argentina to Bolivia. The incredible atmosphere of this hospitable country was already experienced by the motorcyclists last year. From the very frontier crossing at Villazón the road was all lined with fans chanting “Bolivia – suerte“, i.e. Bolivia – good luck.
Martin Kolomý started the day fantastically, dictating the tempo to the rest of the truck field. In the middle of the route he lost after the Russian pilot Nikolaev driving a Kamaz but still ended with a podium rank. “Today we really enjoyed the race. The fantastic atmosphere after arrival in Bolivia charged us with healthy enthusiasm. Before start we managed to replace the defective boost sensor and the engine thus worked like a precision watch. The second rank is excellent and the overall podium rank is not yet an unrealistic expectation. There is still more than a half of the Dakar race ahead of us to achieve that,“ said Martin Kolomý in the bivouac after moving up to the sixth overall rank.
Jaroslav Valtr also performed very successfully in this stage with the tenth stage rank. Thus the TATRA BUGGYRA RACING team, for the first time in its short history, had two trucks in the TOP 10 in the famous Dakar Rally. “This stage fitted me well, unfortunately we again started from the twenty fourth position, and so we had to overtake from a dusty train, which is not easy. The risk was considerable, especially in the mountains on the narrow roads with steep slopes and abysses all around. We had to be very careful. I am glad I could show how the truck works. Tomorrow we will start from the front after all,” was the happy comment of Jarda, paying for the cancelled prologue by starting from the back of the starting field since the beginning of the competition, with big problems for the whole crew entailed.
The biggest problem of the fifth stage was the altitude, as the trucks climbed up to 4 600 m above sea level. Another concern was the technology that had to endure for a double portion of kilometres. “We were afraid the tyres would break, the kilometres they had to cover were much too many. We were also worried about the engine and the turbo, for the lack of air at this height stresses the engine even more. All successfully survived to the finish and so I am glad we are here. The bivouac does not look too civilised and I have even brought some sandstorm with me here and so the boys will not have much pleasant conditions for servicing. But this is what Dakar is like,” said the co-pilot of Martin Kolomý David Kilian.
Tomáš Ouředníček achieved 41st quickest stage time in the car category and moved up to 42th overall rank with his faultless performance. “The route was watery, or even snowy in the mountains. We were quick in the technical section, but had to slow down in the mountains for the car still does not work as it should. Despite that we achieved excellent stage time thanks to Pavel´s infallible navigation. We are very tired but looking forward to the next stage,” confessed Tomáš in the finish.
Hot moments were on stock today for the crew of the media vehicle headed by Marek Spáčil. Their vehicle remained trapped in the mountains after a rainstorm. After two hours of waiting all except Marek lost conscience and only gained force after arrival in the Uyuni background following five-hours´ ride. Thus Marek deservedly became the hero of the day.