Martin Šoltys is looking forward to automatic gearbox
Despite the world is still fighting its battle against COVID, the Buggyra Technology Centre is preparing for Dakar 2021. The team is now finishing its work on two trucks and two category specials, Side by Side. Meanwhile, the Tatra Phoenix driver Martin Šoltys is preparing for his 4th Dakar. But you will find out, how it will all end at the team press conference on Tuesday, November 24.
He is currently in a good mood, and not overly worried about the current times. “First of all, I’m trying not to get infected, because a quarantine would complicate matters for the whole crew. Luckily, going shopping has never been my thing, so the current situation is not affecting me that much. I’m trying to train as much as I can, to stay fit, because that’s going to be important,” says the three-time Dakar participant. Also, he is not worried about any uncertainties. “What is going to happen at Dakar or not, I won’t care about until January when I’m at the race in Saudi Arabia. I can adapt.”
Martin Šoltys definitely prefers the shorter track, that will offer more technical segments and a more difficult layout in general, unlike the last Dakar route. “I’m not a big old-timer, but I don’t think that Dakar should be about long routes where you go just flat-out, like this year. There will be fewer crossings, that take just forever. I definitely find this to be a good change, but I’ll wait with evaluation until the end.”
However, the new automatic gearbox will be a big challenge for Martin. “We spoke about it a lot with David Vršecký. And with Robin as well. We were remembering the Dakar 2018 in Peru, where we dug into a dune and had to retire early. I agree with David that the vehicle will be faster in dunes thanks to the automatic gearbox and I’ll have much more time to drive. At least, that’s what I believe in right now.”