Kolomý Unveils Dakar Scrap Yard
Iquique/Antofagasta - Looking around and following the happenings of the famous Dakar Rally? Martin Kolomý would certainly have had no time for this as a racing pilot. But as the driver of the Tatra Buggyra Racing team had to quit this year ´s competition prematurely for technical issues of his truck and as he will only return from the rally to the Czech lands after its finish he now has a rare opportunity to explore the backstage of the most extreme long-distance race in the world without stress right in the course of the individual stages. Thus he can make more relaxed comments as well.
"You can hardly think of walking through the bivouac in the course of racing. Whatever you do in addition costs you a lot of strength that you need for the racing and so you must take care of yourself and your team. The fact that this year of the Dakar Rally is one of the hardest can be seen in the bivouac day by day when there are more and more destroyed machines loaded on trailers. Thus the bivouac slowly transforms to a scrap yard," was Martin Kolomý´s impression.
When the Dakar Rally ceremonially started in Rosario, Argentina, it was followed by millions of viewers like for example the finish of the cycling race Tour de France at Champs-Élysées. It is the number of spectators and the reputation of Dakar that inspires its comparisons to the famous cycling race. What "Tour" is for cyclists Dakar is for motorists. But while the cyclists keep their bicycles shining all the time the same cannot be said about the technology of the Dakar crews. Sand and dust are omnipresent. The Wednesday 10th stage in addition took the trucks to the treacherous fine grit "fesh fesh", looking like firm ground but thanks to its fineness behaving like soft mud. "It is like flour which gets literally everywhere. The surface of the racing technology is rougher and rougher with every stage and it is really unrealistic to keep the original gloss. All rather address existential issues. As it progresses Dakar becomes a struggle for survival," noted the pilot Kolomý.
Not only the crew but also the members of the support team spare their forces in the course of the race as much as they can. Some learn what it is to stay awake round the clock for several days in succession, all are extremely exhausted, human dignity is more or less put aside. That is why the advice of the technical director of Buggyra Robin Dolejš might come in handy: "I have found out that to survive at Dakar you can do with just a couple of things in the pocket of your shorts. You need a tooth brush. But you do not need the toothpaste for there is always somebody in the bivouac brushing his teeth at the same time as you and ready to give you a bit of toothpaste on your brush," this is the beginning of an audio recording made by Robin Dolejš for the fans and available on the team web site, which starts with the description of the right pocket of his trousers. The description ends with a note that in the left pocket you need to have boxers for sleeping. "You cannot do without these, nobody will lend you one, and if anybody did, I would not dare to use them," listed the most important accessories Dolejš.
What now looks like fun is the hard reality during the stages. "When the race is in progress you do not think of joking but now we can joke about something. In fact we are left with nothing much else. Our Fat Boy runs on a provisional axle unfit for racing but still we have made a couple of breakneck pictures on the shore, figured out a couple of follies to entertain the viewers or parked the truck next to a Komatsu, one of the biggest trucks in the world, next to which our Boy looked like a toy car," said Kolomý adding that such spontaneous shows always attract a lot of spectators which only confirms the popularity Kolomý won while he was still racing.
Dakar will only end by the Saturday ´s 13th stage. Stage 10 on Wednesday from Iquique to Antofagasta was won, for the first time this year, by a Czech pilot. The victory belonged to Aleš Loprais, who thus moved up to the fourth rank in the overall interim ranking. The pilot Artur Ardavichus, using a Gyrtech engine, ranked fourteenth. The overall advantage of the Dutch De Rooy was reduced again. The loss of the second ranking Russian Karginov was reduced to mere eight minutes.
Results - Stage 10 (631 km): 1. Loprais (CZE) Tatra 5:10:55, 2. Karginov (RUS) Kamaz +0:37, 3. De Rooy (NED) Iveco +6:10, 4. Nikolaev (RUS) Kamaz +13:57, 5. Viazovich (BLR) Maz +28:31, 13. Ardavichus (KAZ) Tatra +1:22:21, 15. Vildman (CZE) Liaz +1:26:52, 20. Tománek (CZE) Tatra +2:07:32, 29. Vrátný (CZE) Tatra +3:50:42.
Overall: 1. De Rooy (NED) Iveco +41:54:50, 2. Karginov (RUS) Kamaz +7:55, 3. Nikolaev (RUS) Kamaz +1:29:28, 4. Loprais (CZE) Tatra +2:03:15, 5. Sotnikov (RUS) Kamaz +2:47:48, 15. Vildman (CZE) Liaz +9:49:36, 16. Tománek (CZE) Tatra +11:30:34, 19. Vrátný (CZE) Tatra +12:15:16, 21. Ardavichus (KAZ) Tatra +13:11:04.