"Three-Wheel" Slept Nearly All Free Day
Salta - The Tatra Buggyra Racing team has been through one half of this year ´s extremely hard Dakar Rally. That is why the free day in Salta was used by the crew in the bivouac mainly for maximum restoration of forces for the second half of the extreme competition. Overall maintenance of the racing special meanwhile took place in the background. Unpleasant all-day rain certainly did not add to overall wellbeing of the team.
"I have always said that Dakar is mainly about good luck. We installed a lot of new technologies, and have been testing things that had not been used in this rally before and need profound testing. We were in Morocco, in Tunisia, but local conditions can be simulated nowhere else. Dakar is just one. The worst thing is that the truck rides excellently and the defects we have had to face could not be predicted. but this is also what this sport is about," said the pilot Martin Kolomý, reminding of the main defect which strongly affected the progress - the compressor broke in the course of stage 5 and long eight hours were needed for its repair.
Balancing and summarising was also on the agenda of the free day. The technical director of the Buggyra team Robin Dolejš wrote down his findings. "I have already covered several A4 sheets with notes. This year we will pay an expensive tax for looking for performance and reliability. But I still evaluate the progress so far very positively. Dakar is not only about technology and speed of the racing special, but also about speed and accuracy of the logistic team and its ability to flexibly react to the occurring situations. Therefore we are already preparing a new Buggyra communication and logistic system," revealed the plans Robin Dolejš.
Meanwhile the pilot Martin Kolomý became a star of not only Czech media. The performance and decision to finish stage 6 on three wheels has been writ large in the history of the competition. The Czech hero thus resembles one of the best known rebels, the American Robby Gordon. Both of them now have a similar fan base. Kolomý has received from his fans hundreds of positive responses supporting his crew and making it continue forward. Martin Kolomý himself rather compares his decision to the well-known "blink" of footballer Řepka. "In fact I hardly understand why I decided to drive on three wheels. I think a role in the decision was performed by the exhaustion and especially the euphoria appearing when something similar happens just a couple of kilometres before the finish. When I saw we lost a wheel, we went to load it on the truck and then I pulled away, with Kilda shouting that I was a beast," described Martin Kolomý the unforgettable moment with his typical smile, having earned a nickname "Mr. Three-Wheel" in the bivouac.
And how did he manage to bring Fat Boy in the hard terrain to the finish on three wheels? "I had to press down the accelerator all the time for the weight to stay on the rear axle. It worked, only when I had to corner this was hard to do," was Kolomý´s description of the ride.
After the first half of the race his crew holds twenty-eighth interim rank. Despite the struggle for the position of the best Czech participant and also within the top ten, unexpected trouble let it drop down in the hierarchy. "I hope we have drawn all bad luck on stock for us and now we will manage to drive for the imaginary medals to clink for us in the finish of the stages," smiles the co-pilot David Kilián.
The Sunday stage 7 reminds of a loop that will take the truck from and bring them back to Salta. While the motorcycles will transfer to Bolivia, the truck will still remain in Argentina on the last day before crossing the frontiers to Chile. They will have to cover 755 kilometres, including 525 measured km. Kolomý will start as twenty third at 4:14 pm local time. "We are all glad that we will spend three days in a single bivouac this time. Even this trifle will save us a lot of strength that we will badly need," added Robin Dolejš.