The Big Shock! Racing truck passed the stress test
Sedlcany team Big Shock! Racing missed the May camp in Africa due to the coronavirus. That is why the driver Martin Macik traded the Sahara sand dunes for mud on the off-road track in Milovice. The goal was clear; to push the improved race truck as far as possible during the two-day tests to reveal all weaknesses of the truck so that the mechanics could work on them before the actual races and the Dakar 2021. Therefore, this time Martin did not spare his truck, Charles. He sent it without remorse and at the highest possible speed into the holes and pools of the former tankodrome. The good news is that the truck and all new modifications withstood the rough handling without much damage. Only the shock absorber holders burst, but the mechanics immediately welded them back together. Another positive piece of news is that Martin Macik is getting along well with the new automatic gearbox, although sometimes he still reaches for the clutch pedal…
Hard on the tankodrome, easy on the Dakar
For Martin Macik, the rainy ride through the muddy Milovice racetrack was an interesting test of innovations that will help further accelerate the yellow-black special during the Dakar 2021. It is more than 100kg lighter after undergoing reconstruction. The automatic gearbox, chassis modification, better shock absorbers and other improvements that have been introduced by the team mechanics in the Sedlcany workshops over the last 5 months needed to be tested. However, the changes also affected the control of the race truck, so Martin Macik has to get used to driving the truck. “After the Milovice testing, I can say that the automatic gearbox and other modifications were steps in the right direction. Sometimes I still reach for the gear stick with my right hand, but the navigator Frantisek always slaps my fingers away. I’m starting to enjoy that I’m no longer busy shifting gears and I can focus more on the steering wheel. With the automatic gearbox, I’ve noticed we tend to be faster in starts and turning corners,“ Martin Macik described.
Mud instead of dunes
The mechanic David Svanda was also satisfied with the Milovice testing: “We managed to do everything. Only the weather didn’t work out for us at all. The mud made our work a little more complicated. We are satisfied with the setting of the automatic gearbox on softer terrain, now we need to test other surfaces. We also checked its temperatures and are currently choosing the optimal setting for maximum performance and at the same time the endurance of the truck. We also tweaked the shock absorbers settings, which turned out better than expected. We’ve detected a few bugs and we will focus on them now.”
The testing was the team’s first major event after the forced break and was attended by the complete Big Shock! Racing team. Aside to the well-established crew, which consists of navigator Frantisek Tomasek along with Macik and Svanda, there were mechanics, team partners, journalists and fans that came to check out the testing in Milovice as well. The bivouac was also full of children; everyone was curious about Martin and Charles’ test drive.
After the team returns to the workshops in Sedlcany, further work on the truck will begin. They will continue until September 4, when the crew is going to start at the Baja Poland and, for the first time, have the chance to test the truck’s new technical modifications in a real race.