Rally Hail: Big challenge and final test ahead of Dakar
Three Buggyra Academy stars and a highly experienced Dakar legend. At first, it might sound like a bit unusual line-up, that will represent Buggyra ZM Racing at Rally Hail. The event will take place from December 6th to December 11th in Saudi Arabia, while it will be the final test for Josef Macháček (T3) and Téo Calvet (trucks) ahead of Dakar Rally 2022.
Priorities are clear
And as Martin Koloc, the team principal, says, it is also the first-ever official off-road event for the Buggyra Academy team. “The fact, that just two years since the academy has begun, we have Téo preparing for his first Dakar, and Aliyyah with Yasmeen will be racing next year for the first time, that must be proof that there’s something we’re doing well,” says Koloc, who also makes clear that the emphasis will not be on results.
“Especially Téo, who has a healthy excitement about it all, will have to keep it down, that’s why he’s getting Josef Kalina as his navigator. He’s going to explain to him, that only those who finish the race, can actually succeed at Dakar. And the same will be for both girls. We have no expectations when it comes to results, we’re starting a new long-term project here.”
Also, the defending T3 category champion Josef Macháček is heading to Rally Hail mostly for testing. “The priorities are clear for me and David. We need to try some things – while we’re convinced, they’re going to work, we just need to make sure,” said the first Buggyra driver to ever win a Dakar category. “Of course, in case it’s necessary, I’m here to help both girls. But as far as I know, they’re in good hands.”
Experience and foresightful step
While Téo will get help from a three-time Dakar winner Josef Kalina, Aliyyah and Yasmeen can look forward to a very experienced duo of navigators Xavier Panseri and Stéphane Duple. “It’s a little bit immodest, but I’ll say that if two incredibly successful navigators agree to work with two 17-year-old girls, it must say something about the qualities of the Buggyra Academy. Both are great professionals, they see it as a challenge and they don’t care that the result might not be as high as you would expect from such professionals,” says satisfied Martin Koloc, who considers hiring Xavier and Stéphan as his big diplomatic success.
“Our cooperation should not end with Rally Hail, as we’re putting together teams for the new FIA World Rally Championship series.” And the team boss also enjoys the decision of entering the T3 category. “We’ve got a confirmation of what we expected two years ago already. The prototype category at Dakar now features over 50 crews, with the best drivers and factory teams – it will be just some great racing.”
The Dakar Rally 2022 will also mark the start of the new FIA World Rally Raid Championship. Apart from the Dakar, the first season also features events in UAE, Kazakhstan, Spain and Morocco. “While we’re not going to participate in the whole championship next year, in 2023 it’s going to be one of our priorities. Buggyra will be taking part in its first world championship and our ambitions are higher than just to participate,” added Martin Koloc.