The calm before the storm for Buggyra
The 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally starts very differently for all its participants. Due to the COVID restrictions, everyone faces a 48-hour quarantine in Jeddah, followed by compulsory PCR tests. Only after that, the teams will be allowed to collect their vehicles, take care of all administration tasks and to focus on final testing and the start itself.
After the arrival to the Dakar Rally 2021 venue, all team members had to go into a compulsory quarantine. It is same for everybody, just like the PCR tests that are going to take place in Jeddah today. Only after that, it is decided who can enter the “Dakar bubble” and to focus on the event itself. It then comes as no surprise, that the team has brought its own antigen tests to Jeddah. “Under the leadership of our physiotherapist David Janoušek, we did our own tests on Tuesday to make sure, that there won’t be any complications. We’ve all passed before our departure, so we believe that it’s going to be alright,” said head of communication Jan Kalivoda.
Despite the strict restrictions, the team was visited on the hotel by Hussein Shobokshi, the Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic. “We had a very nice chat. We were given some useful information and they offered to help us, in case we need it. But I believe that it won’t be necessary. Yet, it was nice to get the best wishes ahead of such a difficult competition,” added Jan Kalivoda.
Every team member spends the waiting in their own way. While Martin Šoltys and Josef Macháček are sleeping, as they know from experience that they will not probably get much sleep during the event, Ignacio Casale is working hard at the gym.“The truck is much more physically difficult than the quad bike. So, I’m trying not to waste any time and I’m preparing until the last moment,” said the three-time Dakar winner. For Tomáš Enge and Vlastimil Tošenovský, who has jumped into the crew on the last moment, is the quarantine about getting to know each other.
Today, the Buggyra Racing team members are awaiting the PCR tests and then the results, but that might take a while. “The organisers have up to 24 hours to process the PCR tests, which might be a problem. The port closes at 4 pm and we have already planned some testing on Thursday. But right now, nobody can tell us if we’ll be able to run according to our schedule,” said Kalivoda.