The driver Martin Macik, supported by navigator Frantisek Tomasek and by mechanic David Svanda, won the ninth stage of Dakar and holds 5th position in the overall ranking. The team truck, Charles, went through a thorough service overnight, which from which it was released in perfect condition and ready for everything. Therefore, the crew started today’s stage with great determination and gave it their absolute best. The crew from Sedlcany kept leaving behind their competitor one by one and steadily climbed in the ranking. In the second half of the extremely dusty and demanding stage, they got into the lead and they managed to keep it to the finish line. The cooperation of all team members thus brought another great Czech result at this year’s Dakar. But it was not only them, it was also the incredible support of the fans and partners of the Big Shock! Racing team that made this happen.
Winning a stage of Dakar after 9 years!
Today, the Dakar stage route ran along a circuit near the emerging city of Neom and consisted of 465 kilometres. The Big Shock! Racing team did not have time to enjoy the scenery, however. The team mechanics worked hard on Charles overnight to get it in top shape. Even before the start, there was a feeling in the bivouac that something was about to happen. The stage was extremely fast and dusty. From the very beginning, Charles climbed through the rankings to finally take the leading position at the eighth checkpoint. Thanks to Martin Macik’s driving skills, Frantisek Tomasek’s flawless navigation and David Svanda’s technical support, Charles rushed to the finish line without hesitation. “It took nine years and finally, it looks like we made got our first stage victory. We have to keep fighting, there are still three more stages to go. We really did a number on Charles – it will be another long night for the mechanics. Hopefully, they will do equally a great job as they did yesterday. Anyway, it was difficult today, I haven’t sweat like that in a very long time. But it feels great and we showed everyone that we have the speed fit for Dakar,” Martin Macik reported. The navigator Frantisek Tomasek added: “Navigation was ideal for us today, although the stage was very tough and fast. I don’t know if I would like to experience this every day.” The mechanic David Svanda suspects that his work does not end at the finish today: “The truck is a bit dismantled, we have to put it back together overnight and again tomorrow! But it was a great stage for me today and I enjoyed it from start to finish.” The Big Shock! Racing team gave a great performance today, which is due to all its members. Each of them is important and they all do their job well and with maximum commitment. “On behalf of the whole team, I’d also like to thank all the fans who keep their fingers crossed for us and the partners who support us,” the team boss Martin Macik, Sr. concluded.
Let’s not celebrate yet, nothing is certain yet as Dakar keeps going
There are three more stages left until the end of Dakar. The final rankings are slowly beginning to form, but one still needs to keep a cool head. The atmosphere will be very cheerful in the Big Shock! Racing team’s bivouac today. But everyone knows that there is a lot that can still happen. Those who have not experienced the Dakar first-hand can hardly imagine how demanding it is both physically and mentally. It is crucial to be able to support each other, even if the nerves and egos sometimes overpower people. “A healthy amoount of ego is important in Dakar. You can’t even get on the start without him. You have to believe from the beginning that you can do it. I have to be sure in my driving skills, Frantisek in navigation. When anything happens on the track, David must have the balls to tell us how to handle it. But at the same time, the ego must never overpower you. When you start to think you’re the world champion, it’s bad. It will limit you. You will overestimate yourself and crash, or you will not be able to handle a situation when something is not working. At Dakar, you have to be able to work with what you have,” Martin Macik explained.