Šoltys and Macháček did well despite challenging navigation
Almost 400 kilometres in difficult terrain for navigation, that was today’s challenge for Buggyra Racing team crews. Martin Šoltys remains in the TOP 10 and despite losing some time, he currently holds the 9th place in the standings. On the other hand, Josef Macháček had a much better day as he moves up in the standings.
Just like the organisers had promised, this year’s Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia is getting even tougher. The 2nd stage was already different as the navigators did not receive their roadbooks until the morning before the start. And this is going to be the case for five more stages.“It suited me well, as we arrived at bivouac one hour after midnight, so I could go to sleep. Usually, we would spend at least two more hours going through the roadbook and marking all the dangerous places,” said Vlastimil Tošenovský from Josef Macháček’s crew.
Martin Šoltys managed to stay in touch with the fastest drivers, up until the 160th kilometre. But he also received a 3-minute penalty for exceeding the maximum speed by 1 kph. “Today’s stage was very fast and for most of the time, we were hitting the speed limiter. That’s something I don’t like because you have no idea where you are going to hit some hole. The vehicle worked well and had zero technical issues. We made a navigational error halfway through, but so did most of the others, including Kamaz and Renault. And in the end, we had to return to one waypoint, it was a tricky one. It was a bit about wandering today, but it was good,” said Šoltys.
Macháček and Tošenovský also had zero issues, but they lost some time. They finished 28th despite having a bad starting position.“We really enjoyed ourselves today, even despite so many rocks out there. It was like in Africa a lot, which I like. And I have to praise Vlastimil for great navigation. We could not do any better due to the high starting position, but we need to work our way up,” said the Buggyra Racing team driver.
The 3rd stage will be a circuit, with drivers starting and finishing in Neom. From zero altitude, the drivers will have to climb to the highest point of this year’s competition – 1,400 metres. This 427-kilometre long stage will consist mostly of sand (60%), with the rest being made up of rocks, soil and asphalt.