Loprais Buries Phoenix. Kolomý Returns Him Back to the Game
After the rest day the rally programme continues with the marathon stage in which the pilots of the TATRA BUGGYRA RACING team had to help each other. Aleš Loprais got stuck in the mud and Martin Kolomý had to pull him out. Despite that both Czech pilots improved their overall ranks by one each.
Instead of the originally planned 362 measured kilometres the first half of the marathon stage only included half of the original portion. The organizers decided to change the route completely due to the previous rainstorms. Despite that they prepared a difficult stage full of unexpected traps.
“Today´s stage was quick and the road was broken and very bumpy, which is ideal for our technology. In the end we met our buried colleague and so we lost a little getting him out. I think the truck works and the result is quite decent,“ was the comment of Martin Kolomý, who achieved the eleventh quickest time and moved up to the twelfth rank in the interim ranking. Thus Kolomý already approaches the top ten only losing nineteen minutes to reach it.
Aleš Loprais was not so well off today, with seventeenth best time. The reason was waiting for Kolomý. “We had no technical issue, that is a positive thing. I made a small mistake crossing one marshland where I was stuck in the mud. Luckily all came out well as Martin pulled us out. We lost some ten to fifteen minutes there. But I slowly restore my trust in my truck and this is better than the blocked steering wheel,“ said Loprais, who has moved to the thirteenth rank in the overall raking.
In the evening the crews had to do without their service accompaniment and so they had to make the standard servicing themselves. “Now we will only do the basic service. Check the tyres, lubricate the truck, tighten some components and that is all. We cannot manage more here anyway,“ added Kolomý.
“We know that both truck finished today´s stage without technical issues and so our yesterday´s toil did pay back. My crew has a free day today thanks to the marathon stage but the eight-hundred-kilometre-long crossing was not easy even so,“ said about the mechanics the R&D director Robin Dolejš.
Thanks to the shortening the marathon stage was changed to a classical speed test in two days divided by a bivouac without service background. The second half of the marathon stage will be shortened too from the originally planned 492 km. The new stage will only include 160 measured km. “We need long stages. The more the better. I am not happy about the shortening. This is not Dakar any longer,“ said Loprais in early evening.