Merciless Duel between Kolomý and Valtr
El Salvador/La Serena - Kolomý or Valtr? Tatra or Liaz? The last but one day of the famous Dakar Rally also included the abovementioned merciless duel. While De Rooy struggled in the 12th stage of the race for the overall leading rank with Karginov and the Kamazs, Kolomý competed with Valtr for the post of the best Czech "one".
Who of the two will be quicker? This Czech duel obviously did not affect the official competition at all. Both pilots had been forced to withdraw from the official competition prematurely for technical issues. Despite that their idea drew attention of the Dakar audiences and livened up the programme of the racing day. The private race started on a bitumen road, continued on dusty pervious paths and finished at the Pacific shore. All that took place after departure from the bivouac at El Salvador after the start of the live speed test of the day.
Jarda Valtr and his Liaz took the lead in the untraditional race but Martin Kolomý made it difficult for him, driving stuck to the rear bumper of his Liaz. His attempts at overtaking were "at the brink of self-destruction" as usual. "In the beginning Jarda sat in the lead and eliminated all chances for my overtaking. I tried wherever I could but eventually I decided to rather wait for the pervious ground," was Martin Kolomý ´s comment on the beginning of the "race". He again, and this time successfully, attacked his mate ´s lead immediately after transfer from the bitumen to the pervious road. The roles of the pilots changed. This time Valtr tried to stick to the rear axle of Kolomý ´s truck on the dusty road. "Martin made use of the surprise moment after transfer to the pervious surface and overtook me. I know him, I had to stick to him or else he would tear me off. I think we demonstrated by the ride in the dust that the performance of our trucks is top," was Jarda Valtr´s description of the next part of the "race".
At the Pacific shore the pilots exchanged their trucks. "Both trucks are driven by our Gyrtech engines and so their performance is comparable. However, each engine had to respect the technical differences between the two makes and therefore they are mounted differently in the vehicles," noted the technical director of Buggyra Robin Dolejš.
The trucks differ by the suspension system. While Liaz suspension is tough, Tatra suspension is a "swing". "I like to test any race truck. Tatra is a top machine. I mainly perceived the difference in the work and function of the axles. It was a pleasant ride," praised Jarda Valtr the racing special Tatra 815 Buggyra, when he "chatted" with Kolomý after the ride. "I know Liaz and so I was not surprised by anything. It is now a competitive vehicle with the new Gyrtech engine," teased "Kolomajz".
You may ask how the race between the two pilots was possible if they had to withdraw from the Dakar Rally for technical issues? The answer is simple - the whole "race" took place within the speed limit of mere 60 km/hr! And what was the final result of the "race", attracting attention of so many local inhabitants? The fact that the wheels of their trucks could at least whirl the dust made both of them the winners and the losers at the same time. "Well, we fooled around a little to entertain the fans. The male competitiveness and childish pleasure of any comparison of forces is in both of us, but we only regret that we could not continue officially till the end and squeeze the maximum from our trucks. We have to wait for next year," the pilot Martin Kolomý already looks forward to next year.
In the official last but one stage De Rooy showed that he was not prepared to give up the struggle for the overall lead so easily. After the three hundred and fifty measured kilometres of the track section from El Salvador to La Serena he was the quickest pilot, for the second time this year. The current interim leader Karginov´s loss was mere half a minute, which did not threaten his overall leading rank. The best Czech representative was the twelfth Arthur Ardavichus with Tatra with Gyrtech support. Aleš Loprais was held back for three hours by a broken compressor hose, which meant his drop from the overall fourth to the sixth interim rank.
The final 13th stage of the rally will take the pilots from La Serena to the absolute finish of the race, the city of Valparaíso. The last stage will in total cover the last 535 kilometres, of which only 157 measured.
Results - Stage 12 (350 km): 1. De Rooy (NED) Iveco 4:10:24, 2. Karginov (RUS) Kamaz +0:31, 3. Nikolaev (RUS) Kamaz +3:18, 4. Shibalova (RUS) Kamaz +10:39, 5. Sotnikov (RUS) Kamaz +11:30, 12. Ardavichus (KAZ) Tatra +46:37, 20. Vildman (CZE) Liaz +1:07:27, 21. Vrátný (CZE) Tatra +1:46:18, 34. Loprais (CZE) Tatra +2:53:15, 43. Tománek (CZE) Tatra +4:12:56.
Overall: 1. Karginov (RUS) Kamaz 52:36:12, 2. De Rooy (NED) Iveco +7:25, 3. Nikolaev (RUS) Kamaz +1:38:38, 4. Sotnikov (RUS) Kamaz +3:21:18, 5. Shibalova (RUS) Kamaz +4:40:51, 6. Loprais (CZE) Tatra +5:10:40, 13. Vildman (CZE) Liaz +12:59:06, 14. Ardavichus (KAZ) Tatra +15:33:46, 17. Vrátný (CZE) Tatra +17:21:35, 18. Tománek (CZE) Tatra +17:53:24.