The driver Martin Macik, navigator Frantisek Tomasek and mechanic David Svanda from the Big Shock! Racing team reached a great 4th overall place after the sixth stage of Dakar that they finished in the 7th place. The crew of the yellow Iveco special gradually managed to push forward and overtake their opponents on a demanding, fast sandy track. The only stumble was a punctured tire, which the Czech team managed to change in five minutes. Fortunately, the 20-meter flight of Macik’s truck after taking a tricky turn ended with a smooth landing. In the next stage, the yellow special, Charles, will start from the 4th place. The first half of the Dakar was successful. The team reached a great 4th place in the overall ranking, the truck is without major damage and all participants have a lot of new experiences.
We sped along the track, with a little trip to the air
Friday’s sixth stage was shortened to 347 racing kilometres due to heavy rain, after which the originally planned 102-kilometre-long section of the track was deemed too dangerous. Therefore, the organizers postponed the morning start. The program included a sand track and a variety of dunes, with different shapes and level of difficulty. Martin Macik’s crew was hoping the dunes would boost their mood. It was necessary to move from 9th place upwards, which they eventually achieved and, along the way, the Czech crew gained some unforgettable experiences as a bonus. “The pace is incredible. We sped along the track. At the 100th kilometre or so, we had to change a tire, and it only took us five minutes. The cars were getting in the way a bit so that slightly delayed us. We wanted to keep Charles from harm, so we didn’t jump so much today. But we kept the fast pace and took one trip to the atmosphere. The pothole on the track in one of the turns, which we passed at a speed of about 100 kilometres, catapulted us about 20 meters in the air. The wheels went up and all the could see was the sky. But fortunately, the landing was good, there was no damage and we kept going,” Martin Macik described the development of the stage.
The rules of Dakar
Charles, the team truck, looked brand new at the start of today’s stage. “In the end, we changed the leaf springs for safety, and at the same time the front axle bump stops were supported so that the springs could not bend too much, as it happened during the jump in the previous stage,” the flight mechanic David Svanda revealed. Everyone working in the bivouac is working hard. Even though some tiredness is starting to show, it is a pleasure to watch the bustle around the racing special. Each of the mechanics has their job and together they work like a fine-tuned machine. The rules of the Big Shock! Racing team also contribute to this. “We follow a clear system and instructions. We have it scheduled when a specific part of the truck will be changed to ensure its Dakar service life. But it is also clearly planned at what time the accompanying vehicles leave the bivouac, what specific spare parts Mana carries, which components are available in the service MAN. Drivers are assigned to each accompanying car, they go to bed earlier so that they are not tired. Everything is clearly set up and scheduled so it all runs like clockwork,” the chief mechanic Jiri Cap, nicknamed Capik, explained.
The bivouac was ready at the finish in Ha’il today for the team, as they will be spending the well-deserved day off there. Everyone is already looking forward to it. Although there will be no racing, there is still a lot of work to be done. What follows is the marathon stage and the teams have to prepare really well for that. The next stages will be deciding the finishing order of the 2021 Dakar.