The Big Shock! Racing team left for the Polish rally Baja Drawsko this weekend mainly to practice on the 330 valuable racing kilometres before the upcoming Dakar. The crew members were as usual: Charles, an Iveco truck, driven by Martin Macik, navigated by Frantisek Tomasek, with the technical assistance of David Svanda. Francis, the team’s Liaz, was again rented to Dan Stiblik, who is finding his feet in the world of long-distance truck rallies. This time, it was not about results, the main goal was training and, also, fun. It didn’t matter at all that the trucks of the Big Shock! Racing team were the only truck to take part in the competition. They needed to train, test and gain experience. It was in Poland that the strength of the two team trucks proved itself when Dan was able to help Martin after breaking a hose supplying diesel to the engine during a stress test. Despite this minor collision, Macik was the 7th to reach the finish line and Stiblik was 12th. The Czech trucks raced 34 passenger cars.
We train wherever possible!
Because most European competitions that have a truck category (which the Big Shock! Racing team regularly participates in) were cancelled this season, Martin Macik decided to train in long-distance rallies primarily intended for passenger cars. The fact that they are the only trucks on the track together with Daniel Stiblik, who is renting the team’s other truck, did not play a crucial role. “We always manage. Trucks or cars, the important thing is that we have someone to race with. Now our main goal is to be able to drive longer sections at high speed. We need to test new adjustments we have made on Charles. There isn’t much time left for the Dakar,” Macik explained. He already has the configuration set on the engine and automatic gearbox and will leave it so for the Dakar.
Direct broadcast from the truck cabin
During Friday’s prologue, the crew of the yellow truck again arranged a live broadcast for Facebook fans from the Iveco’s cabin. Motorsport fans could thus be with them throughout the race from getting into the car to the initial organizational preparations, counting down the last minutes to the start, and most of the route. “We couldn’t do something like this at Dakar, the rules are very strict there. We can’t have any phones in the cabin or be in contact with the outside in any way. European races are mainly training for us, the rules are more lenient and they allow us to have more fun and share it with our dear fans,“ navigator Frantisek Tomasek said.
On Saturday, two stages were planned, each 142 kilometres-long. The demanding trial sections and chases of trucks with cars can always lift the spirits of the Czech crew. The yellow truck Charles, driven by Macik, finished in the 4th place in the first leg of the race, Stiblik was 16th after the first part. An hour-long servicing break followed. The last stage was also adventurous; Macik decided to go at the maximum possible speed and perform a stress test. In the end, the rear springs holding the axle, which already completed the last Dakar with the crew, did not last. It was one of the few parts that have not yet been replaced and its replacement was planned after the arrival from European races. The springs cracked and took with them a hose supplying diesel to the engine. About halfway through the stage, Macik, Tomasek and Svanda realised they smelled diesel in the cabin and had to stop. Fortunately, the second team truck, piloted by Stiblik, stopped to help them out. He provided the crew with diesel and a few necessary components and thus became the hero of the truck competition. “We decided to risk a little at the end and we went at a speed we wouldn’t even dare to at Dakar. But we’re glad that we have confirmed where the springs have their limits. In any case, today’s winner is Dan, who helped us. We finished the last leg of the race together,” Martin Macik reported.
In the end, Macik was in the 7th overall place and Stiblik was 12th. The atmosphere at Baja Drawsko was very friendly, the competitors were nice and the Big Shock! Racing team worked great, even though the mechanics had a lot of work to do. This might have been the last competition of the season if it is not possible to find fitting dunes in which the team could still test the sand ride. Charles will now undergo a complete cleaning and will be completely disassembled in Sedlcany so that the mechanics can check everything and then install new parts, which will make the truck ready for the 2021 Dakar.
Video from the race you can find this -> Baja Drawsko 2020