VIDEO: Macháček in TOP 10. Casale could not start, but he does not give up
While the reigning champion continues in delivering consistent performances, Ignacio Casale and his crew could not start into sixth stage. However, the team has issued a statement, that the Chilean driver is expected to return in the following stage with a pretty much new special.
The first half of the 2022 Dakar Rally finished with another loop around Riyadh, but this time, they went to the west of the capital city. The first part of the special featuring web of intersections proved to be a big challenge for navigators. After that followed 40 kilometres in sand, before the final very fast segment.
Impossible to avoid every rock
Despite two punctures, Josef Macháček finished in 12th place, and he was in a good mood after the stage. “I’ve got a broken mirror. I thought it was a rock, but looking at it now, it seems like a bullet. We were thinking with Pavel, maybe we’re targeted by our competition? I guess we need to find out!”
Before the first puncture, it was a nice drive for them. “Unfortunately, the puncture took some of our excitement away, and then, just 50 kilometres later, we had the second puncture. It was kind of my error, but in such speed, you just can’t avoid every rock. We did the rest of the stage knowing we don’t have any spare tyre, and that we’ve got to make it to the end,” said the Dakar veteran after the stage that saw a woman making it on the podium, thanks to Cristina Gutierrez Herrero from Spain, who finished in 2nd position.
That is Dakar
Unfortunately, Ignacio Casale and his crew could not start into sixth stage. “After yesterday’s stage, we had more time for a thorough check-up. And the mechanics found out that due to the fire, there was a vast damage of key components, including gearbox. The fact that Ignacio was able to finish the stage was a miracle,” said the team principal Martin Koloc. “We’re going to have two days to build a pretty much new vehicle, which is going to be ready for the second part of the Dakar. Our goal will be speed and stage results, and we also plan stress testing of components for Dakar Rally 2023.” As the team principal says, that every problem comes with an opportunity. “The mechanics did a world-class job and showed that they don’t have a problem to deliver under pressure, and with great results. Also, the guys haven’t been home for 3 months now, they’ve given everything to Dakar. So, I’m sure that we haven’t neglected anything. Once again, big thanks to every team member and I’m very proud of them.”
And as Martin Koloc added, it will be necessary to bring some very important parts from Dubai, that they thought they are not going to need here. “We need things like iron components for the chassis. We need to do a big rebuild. The car with parts is on the way now and nobody is going to stop today and tomorrow. But that’s Dakar.”
Results – Stage 6
T3 – Light prototypes: 1. Seth Quintero (USA/OT 3) 3:27:23, 2. Cristina Gutierrez Herrero (Spain/OT3), 3. Lopez Contardo (Chile/Can-Am) + 13:25…12. Josef Macháček (Czech Republic/Buggyra Can – Am) + 29:38
T5 - Trucks: 1. Andrey Karginov (Russia/Kamaz) 3:16:16, 2. Dmitry Sotnikov (Russia/Kamaz) + 0.09, 3. Eduard Nikolaev (Russia/Kamaz) + 0:45
Current standings after Stage 6
T3 – LIght prototypes: 1. Lopez Contardo (Chile/Cam) 24:19:17, 2. Sebastien Eriksson (Sweden/Can – Am) + 23:09, 3. Cristine Gutierrez Herrero (Spain/OT3) + 2:20:16…10. Josef Macháček (Czech Republic/Buggyra Can – Am) +5:34:14
T5 - Trucks: 1. Dmitry Sotnikov (Russia/Kamaz) 22:25:45, 2. Eduard Nikolaev (Russia/Kamaz) + 10:29, 3. Anton Shibalov (Russia/Kamaz) + 38:17…36. Ignacio Casale (Chile/Tatra) +73:40:00