Personal best for Enge and Šoltys on 5th stage
The Buggyra Racing team is unanimously happy with today’s 5th stage, calling it a typical Dakar stage that had everything. And it was clear that the drivers were ready, as they shined in both categories.
Martin Šoltys with a Tatra Phoenix truck finished in 4th place, achieving his career-best result. And he also keeps proving that he can be just as fast as the favourites. On a 456-kilometre-long stage, he finished only 8 minutes behind the winner Sotnikov in a Kamaz truck. “It was difficult and long. The first part of the stage was all about navigation skills, but almost everyone got lost there. We also had to return to find one of the waypoints. But after that, we just went to the finish. We’re a bit tired, but it was a nice drive. I’m happy with the great result.”
The other Tatra truck, driven by a Chilean driver Ignacio Casale, finished in 8th position today. Casale remains 6th in the overall standings. “It was very stressful, especially with so many drivers getting lost on the 20th kilometre. Even though we took a wrong route as well, soon we were able to find the right waypoint. Everybody enjoyed the stage, but I didn’t so much. But I’m glad to be here, that’s what matters,” said Ignacio Casale.
Apart from Šoltys, also Tomáš Enge had a great day on the 5th stage. He did not make any mistakes and finished in a great 4th place in the lightweight prototypes category. “It was really nice today. It had everything that Dakar should have. Our drive was without any issues. We eased off a bit for the final 150 kilometres and probably lost some time, but we just wanted to finish. I’m very happy with the way it went today,” said the Czech driver from Liberec.
Josef Macháček finished 7th in the lightweight prototypes category, and just like Enge, he was also happy with the performance of his Can-Am DV21 special. “Finally, a real Dakar stage. It was challenging for navigation, it had sand, rocks, just really nice. We had one puncture, but other than that, it was fine,” said Josef Macháček.
The crews now face one more difficult stage - a 618 kilometres long special, out of which 348 kilometres are going to be timed. It should feature only a sand terrain, with some dune plains. After that, the organisers have scheduled a rest day.