Martin Koloc: "Racing in Europe doesn't make sense to us."
While Martin Macík, winner of three stages at this year's Dakar, won Baja Aragon over the weekend, the Buggyra Racing team is working on developing new equipment and racing on the old continent is not on the cards for this year at least.
"Congratulations to Martin Maciek, of course, I registered the victory, but we are going a completely different way," said Buggyra owner and boss Martin Koloc. "Of course, before I took over the team again, Buggyra raced in Spain, Hungary and Poland. But then the Dakar was held in South America and the team was made up of Czech drivers. And we only competed in the truck category."
After the move of the Dakar Rally to Saudi Arabia, the desert kingdom will host the competition for at least three more years, but the situation is completely different. "We have our own bases both in Saudi Arabia and especially in the UAE, so I don't see the slightest reason to move from Dubai to Spain for the sake of, say, 200 racing kilometres. It makes infinitely more sense to have a sharp test at the Dakar venue, in the case of the UAE, where the conditions are quite comparable. At the moment, our clear priority is the Dakar and the new World Cross Country Rally Championship, which will be launched next year with the Dakar Rally. Since the promoter is, as in the case of the Dakar Rally and the Tour de France, the decades-tested A.S.O., we are in. And if the Andalusian Rally, for example, is part of the World Championship, we will be happy to return to Europe."
The driver line-up also speaks clearly in favour of the new format. "Pepa Machacek has not the slightest problem with testing in the Middle East, Aliyyah and Yasmeen, who are preparing for the Dakar 2023, are in the same position. Ignacio Casale, with the Dakar dunes figuratively speaking behind his house, can therefore test at will. And we have an agreement that if necessary he will get on a plane and fly in, which has already happened once this year."