The Crew Finds it Hard to Give Up
Salta/Calama - Very sad was the pilot Martin Kolomý. The pilot of the Tatra Buggyra Racing team and his crew were forced for safety reasons to withdraw from the most extreme competition in the world, the famous Dakar Rally. When the other teams headed towards the start of stage 8, his glassy look revealed great disappointment that the next stages of the competition will not include lines written by him.
"Safety of people is more valuable than a success in sport. We would reproach ourselves if we continued and if anything happened to anybody in the mountainous sections of the track. We are fathers of families. We drive at the brink of self-destruction, which we have proved already, but still within the limits of acceptable safety. When you know that serious failure of the technology threatens and may have fatal consequences, you must approach this with sense. Now I speak would-be wisely, as if withdrawal would be easy. In fact it was damn painful and do not be surprised when you see strong men on TV crying at it. I was close to crying myself," described the pilot Martin Kolomý his feelings.
The technical director of Buggyra Robin Dolejš provided more details about the technical trouble that gave rise to the premature withdrawal of the Dakar mission: "Following problems with the right front wheel we had to also replace the turning mechanism, for the original forged one was jammed. It was a great dilemma for us whether to take the risk and continue or whether to withdraw from the competition. Having considered the alternatives and evaluated the risks we could not decide otherwise. What a pity. We used an innovative solution of the front axle braking which proved to be good. Unfortunately, micro cracks appeared on several places on the front axle, which might represent a great risk for the crew."
In the course of the Monday stage 8 of the race the competitors completed the Argentine section of the rally and started the Chile one. The remaining six stages will now take place in Chile. Before the finish in Valparaís the trucks will have to cover another four thousand kilometres of which two and a half thousand will be measured. "Reading messages from our fans was moving to tears. We even met our countrymen living in the surroundings of Salta and it was very pleasant to learn how they lived the race with us. We are all much disappointed that Dakar has ended prematurely for us. We hope that we will not lose all love of our fans and that the next Dakar year will show a kinder face to us," believes the navigator René Kilián.
Kolomý ´s crew with their brave tours de force and the emotional approach won an exceptional reputation in Dakar. There are not many crews able to ride with a burning tyre, work hard for eight hours in a mountain pass to be able to continue or pass the finish line on three wheels. Oh yes, the stories actually lived through by the Tatra Buggyra Racing team were more than colourful and attracted virtually the whole world. And it is for the fans, who followed carefully the pleasant and the unpleasant moments of the team, that Martin Kolomý has decided to continue to describe the progress of this year ´s Dakar Rally with his commentaries.
The eighth stage was eventually governed by the Russian Karginov, who achieved his second victory in Dakar this year. The best Czech pilot was the fourth Aleš Loprais. The crews with Gyrtech engine support ranked among the second ten - Vildman of KM Racing ranked sixteenth, immediately followed by Vrátný of Bonver Dakar project. His teammate Ardavichus ranked twenty eighth.
The interim lead is still held by the Dutch De Rooy. Loprais moved up to the fifth rank and Vildman with his Liaz to the fourteenth rank.
Results - Stage 8 (302 km): 1. Karginov (RUS) Kamaz 2:53:32, 2. De Rooy (NED) Iveco +5:15, 3. Sotnikov (RUS) Kamaz +6:55, 4. Loprais (CZE) Tatra +8:00, 5. Versluis (BEL) MAN +8:33, 16. Vildman (CZE) Liaz +26:47, 17. Vrátný (CZE) Tatra +29:34, 18. Tománek (CZE) Tatra +30:38, 28. Ardavichus (KAZ) Tatra +1:00:24.
Overall: 1. De Rooy (NED) Iveco +31:20:29, 2. Karginov (RUS) Kamaz +32:35, 3. Nikolaev (RUS) Kamaz +1:12:01, 4. Sotnikov (RUS) Kamaz +1:23:26, 5. Loprais (CZE) Tatra +1:48:27, 14. Vildman (CZE) Liaz +6:57:05, 15. Vrátný (CZE) Tatra +6:59:17, 20. Tománek (CZE) Tatra +8:20:09, 23. Ardavichus (KAZ) Tatra +10:55:07.