Tatra Buggyra Bets on Flexibility
The Tatra Buggyra Racing team summarised this edition of the most difficult long-distance rally race in the world, the Dakar Rally, after arrival from Peru on Tuesday.
“This edition will certainly be one of the hardest we have ever participated in. Peru has a lot to offer and good that the organizers headed this way. The race was above all about the skill of surviving. Problems were encountered by everybody, including Kamaz. He percentage of dead technology was enormous,“ the team manager Jan Kalivoda points out the demands of this past Dakar. The race was finished by fourteen crews out of forty one in the truck category. “We have achieved better results in our Dakar history, that is true, but thanks to this edition´s new development – the Semi-Marathon – we have at least one truck in the finish. Although our ambitions were higher, I think the final result the maximum possible, considering the circumstances.“
Both pilots approached this edition of Dakar Rally with a new tactical plan. “The two pilots and I agreed that in the beginning reason should govern over the boiling blood. We knew that the final decision would only be made in the final stages and the differences would be several hours between the individual ranks, which was also confirmed by the final summary result. Unfortunately, both pilots had to perform a demanding repair in hardly accessible terrain and there they also buried all hopes,“ summarises Jan Kalivoda.
Despite the big technical problems Martin Kolomý encountered in his chase for the much desired Bedouin the pilot of Bruntál finally drove his Tatra Phoenix at least to the Lima finish of the Semi-Marathon, with the fifth overall rank in this “small” Dakar. “As I say, from my point of view this was one of the most difficult races I have ever been in: high dunes, rutted sand and heaps of fech-fech. Although the organizers reduced the number of stages, their demand was increased. However, I must thank the organizers of A.S.O. for the new development of this edition, the “small” Dakar. This was one of the best ideas of the past ten editions. True, the motivation was not as high as at the beginning of the full race, but we could use the five stages of the Semi-Marathon for further testing and experience collection. And that is what nobody can deprive us of.“
Martin Šoltys lost his chances for his best result in life so far as late as in the seventh stage. “We were up to a very good rank but three stages before the finish we were buried in a demanding terrain and so unfortunately that we had to spend a night there. In the morning, at daybreak, the fog was so thick that we could not see a meter in front of us. That held us back and we did not return in time to start for the following stage. The whole Dakar was very demanding, both for the technology, and for the crews. This was certainly another valuable lesson to learn for me.“
The forty first edition was also extremely demanding due to the complicated navigation. “The first half was quite all right, but the second was real mess. The routes were full of old ruts from the previous days, in addition the Semi-Marathon crews had a different roadbook thank the crews in the main race, to complete the confusion. A couple of times our GPS reported that we were several waypoints ahead and yet we followed the route correctly. From my point of view, this was a real purgatory,“ remembers the navigator of Kolomý´s crew Rostislav Plný the hard moments in the race.
“Now we face the final evaluation and definition of priorities for the next season. We can hardly start planning as we do not know the route for the next edition. We will have to be a flexible as possible,“ adds Jan Kalivoda.