Dakar 2021 is becoming a reality. Part of the port of Marseille has just turned into one of the most interesting car parks in Europe. Racing teams are gathering there to hand over their vehicles to the organizers of the Dakar rally for a transfer to Jeddah, where the 43rdyear of the legendary race will start on January 3. The Big Shock! Racing team is also there for a handover. Martin Macik said a temporary goodbye to Charles, his Iveco racing truck, accompanied by a service MAN, a camper truck, a new Liaz carrying spare parts, and journalists’ Toyotas. For safety reasons, technical inspections were limited this year. “I handed over the keys to Charles and I hope that we will both meet in the same good condition in a month. I admit I don’t like to leave it in the hands of strangers,” Martin Macik said. He is going to use the time remaining until Dakar to prepare the show ‘Obsessed with Dakar’. The popular Big Shock! Racing team discussion panels with fans will take place in Cinestar cinemas during February. Pre-sale has just started and tickets are going fast!
Charles handed over with instructions
The black-and-yellow caravan of the Big Shock! Racing team set off on Monday morning in the direction of Marseille. “I went with my dad in the MAN and we had Charles on the lift. During the night in France, it snowed and there was salt on the roads, which is not ideal for racing equipment. We also dealt with a broken windshield on one Toyota. But everything was managed smoothly,” Martin Macik reported. It was only on a farm near Marseille when the racing truck stood on its wheels. The team regularly leaves the lift there with friends. Charles managed the rest of the way to the French port on his own. Before handing over the cars, the mechanics locked and sealed all the superstructures and prepared instructions for each car on how to start. The truck’s new automatic gearbox is an advantage for transport. The probability that the clutch or gearbox will be destroyed by the organizers when re-parking is much lower. The team members also switched off a large number of shifts for the accompanying cars, so that the cars could not be driven faster than 30 km/h. “It’s done. We waited in the port for several hours, but it was a successful handover. We will deal with the rest of the inspections in Saudi Arabia. Charles is ready to sail to Jeddah,” the flight mechanic David Svanda said.
‘Obsessed with Dakar’ soon in a cinema near you
Just before the team left for Marseille, the pre-sale of tickets for the talk show ‘Obsessed with Dakar’ also started. The final format of the event was gradually evolving due to security measures. “In February, it will not be possible to meet in the large halls we used last year when the event was attended by over 7,000 people. The number of places will be limited, but the more intimate atmosphere will make ‘Obsessed with Dakar’ feel like a family gathering. We also have a solution in case the PES does not allow us to meet in person,” Martin Macik announced. The Big Shock! Racing team will share their experiences with fans immediately after returning from Dakar. Audiences will have the opportunity to meet with the participants of the race, enjoy videos from the truck cabin and from behind the scenes of Dakar, and of course, ask anything they are curious about.
Voluntary quarantine and backup solutions
From December 15, the Big Shock! Racing team will undergo a voluntary quarantine. They will spend time mainly with their immediate families and thus try to eliminate the probability that one of the members of the team could be stopped by a positive covid test on their way to Dakar. Even though the team firmly believes in the smooth running of all necessary check-ups and inspections, this is the only big unknown that could disrupt the team’s mission. Therefore, everyone will try to be careful. They already have a ‘plan B’ ready in case of unexpected events. The good news is that the Czech and Slovak Dakar racers will fly to Jeddah on the same plane which will be sent for them.
Video about the road to Marseille you can find here.