Šoltys in TOP 10 again, Macháček almost made it too
The successful debut for Can-Am Buggyra MK50 XRS continued in the 9th stage of the famous Dakar Rally. The five-time winner Josef Macháček shined today as he finished in the 11th place, while his teammate Martin Šoltys secured a TOP 10 position with the 9th fastest time of the day.
Today’s stage confirmed that the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia is heavily focused on speed. Its winner, Andrey Karginov, drove with an average speed of 116.9 kilometres per hour! Martin Šoltys, David Schovánek and Tomáš Šikola celebrate a successful day as they finished 9th, just a few minutes behind the 4th place.“The first kilometres had a heavily broken road, it was horrible. We had a puncture, but Šiky (Šikola) did a great job with inflating it on the run, so we didn’t have to change it until the neutral zone. And the second part of the stage was all about speed. One Kamaz in front of us, Macík behind us, and we all were literally flying at 140 kph, fighting for a single kilometre, which I don’t enjoy that much,” said Šoltys, who is currently sitting in the 9th place in the overall standings.
Once again, Gyrtech engines in MAZ showed their potential as Siarhei Viazovich finished in the 2nd position while maintaining his 3rd place in the overall standings behind two leading Kamaz trucks.
On the other hand, Josef Macháček and Vlastimi Tošenovský secured their best result so far, despite starting from the back following yesterday’s accident. “The first part was very technical, very similar to Morocco. We had a big problem with overtaking between the rocks and we had to take risks to get a good result. The second part offered the dunes. And then after refuelling, it felt like we were given some special fuel because we suddenly outclassed everyone. The buggy worked brilliantly. In the end, we had to fight with the dark again, but it was a tie in the end!” joked the Buggyra Racing driver after finishing 11th today.
But the real challenge comes next as the 10th stage is the marathon stage. All crews will be left on other own for one night, without their mechanics and in a separate bivouac. They will even have to prepare their vehicles without any help. So, now the mechanics must do their best to really prepare the machines for 1,352 kilometres, out of which 913 will be timed.