Successful Prologue for Buggyra drivers!
The first 11 kilometres of Dakar Rally definitely cannot determine the overall winner. On the contrary, it is easier to lose than to gain something. However, all four Buggyra Racing drivers have secured very good positions on the grid for the first official stage, which is going to start the Dakar Rally 2021 on Sunday.
The Buggyra Zero Mileage Racing team has entered two Can-Am DV21 specials into the T3.1 category. Tomáš Enge now leads the team, after securing 6th place on the grid for his Dakar debut. “It was really nice; we even drifted a bit. It all went smoothly – so far, so good,” said the former Formula 1 driver after the Prologue.
Meanwhile, his teammate Josef Macháček struggled with traffic. Yet, he still managed to finish just behind the TOP 10. “I didn’t expect to run into anyone on such a short stage. Yet, that’s exactly what happened halfway through. We had to use a horn, and then we surely lost some time while overtaking them, but no idea how much it was,” said Macháček, who finished in 11th place.
The Tatra Buggyra Racing has two Phoenix vehicles in the Trucks category, and both crews had a similar story. Martin Šoltys got held up as well and lost 15 seconds to the fastest driver. “Halfway through, we found ourselves behind a Kamaz. It was probably going back for a checkpoint, they turned it around right in front of us and we spent the second half of the stage looking at their back. I always had to ease off a bit so I could see something. I really didn’t want to hit a hole right at the beginning, but I’m happy with the result,” said Šoltys, currently in 8th place in the standings.
Ignacio Casale had a successful debut behind the wheel of a Tatra truck. The three-time Dakar winner from Chile lost another 15 seconds and he is going to start from 13th place in the Truck category. “I’m happy with it. We’ve managed to get through the Prologue and with a good time. I had good fun in the truck, for the first time, and Alvaro was great in navigating. And tomorrow, the real Dakar begins,” said Ignacio, who originally started his legendary Dakar career as his father’s navigator.
The first stage leads from Jeddah to Bisha. The crews will face 345 kilometres, out of which 277 are timed towards the classification. According to the organisers, it will be a difficult stage with many tricky crossroads and dangerous stones.