Šoltys Finised Marathon Stage right After Top 10
In the fifth stage, finally shortened for safety reasons, Martin Šoltys ranked eleventh. The official results are not available yet. On Saturday the pilots will have a free day.
“Today was the longest stage of the race, even though it was shortened for safety reasons at its end. The boys arrived in the bivouac late at night but the most important thing is that they are here. At the interim timing point where the stage was finished they ranked eleventh. We still wait for the official results and recalculations to the status in the last measured checkpoint. The stage was long and tiring, and the fatigue was seen on the crew. The organizers planned it well, before the free day the crews had to draw from the very bottom of their strength stock,” commented the team manager Jan Kalivoda on the fifth stage.
The pilot of the Tatra Buggyra Racing team Martin Šoltys finished the shortened fifth stage with the eleventh rank. “It was all very demanding, especially the fesh-fesh plains, numerous on both days. The vehicle suffers a lot when driving over them, for fesh-fesh is very fine sand, something like cement. There is nowhere to hide away from it and it destroys everything around it. Otherwise all was quite good today, no big problems. Only they stopped the stage about 50 kilometres before the finish for thick fog. I could not see two metres in front of me at one moment. They stopped it for the sake of safety. It was a provident decision. Now we look forward to the free day, with a little rest after all,“ stated Martin.
“I see it positively so far. Five stages finished, the whole first half of Dakar. We would like to finally rank among the Top 10, but it is really hard. There are two big factory teams, Kamaz and Iveco, with quite stable results so far. But we will see what the second half of the rally will be like, absolutely anything can happen, but we will fight on,“ said the deck mechanic Tomáš Šikola with determination after arrival in the bivouac.
In the course of yesterday´s stage, at kilometre 259, a serious accident happened, when a Kamaz pilot, Andrey Karginov, “ran into” one of the spectators. True, the fan was standing in the “no entry” zone, but as the pilot of truck number 518 did not stop and did not help the injured man, the jury expelled him from the rest of the race.
On Saturday the crews will enjoy the free day and try to restore their strengths for the second half of the Dakar race, starting on Sunday by stage six from Arequipa to San Juan de Marcona. Martin Kolomý will take part again, in the separate classification.