All trucks from the Big Shock! Racing team workshop have earned respect
On Sunday, all three Czech trucks, based on the development of Martin Macik, Sr. in Sedlcany workshops, happily arrived at the Baja Poland finish. Although the rainy weather turned the Polish track into a muddy riverbed with sections where water was up to the waist, the Czech trucks earned respect. They confirmed that they can be very fast and will not get lost even among the strong competition of passenger cars. The team’s special Iveco, with the crew of Macik, Tomasek, and Svanda, finished second after a series of unexpected events. The truck’s twin driven by Jaroslav Valter came in right after. Newcomer Dan Stiblik also bravely overcame the pitfalls of the track in the rented Liaz and gained a lot of valuable experience at his first long-distance rally. “We enjoyed it but had to be very careful. The track leads through a narrow forest path and the trees are very close around the track. The truck goes where it wants on the water, it’s like a sledge. We had to keep it under control, ” Martin Macik described the ride.
Saturday’s first stage was muddier than anyone in the Big Shock! Racing team could have imagined. Martin Macik chased his opponents on the track in a friendly atmosphere. “The boys and I enjoyed the ride, even though sometimes there was too much water on the track. The front window kept fogging up. It is not often that we have to untie ourselves and wipe the windshield with toilet paper during the race. Long-distance races always come with surprises,“ Martin Macik described the pitfalls of the wet track. It took the crew fifteen minutes to repair the mud belt and they also got the opportunity to practice changing tires. In the slippery and heavy mud that prevented the punctured rubber from being positioned properly, the action required another fifteen minutes. But after the warm-up, the Big Shock! Racing crew really got into the second stage on Saturday. “The second part was amazing, we had a wonderful ride, the adrenaline was flowing. Here, too, we dealt with two unexpected events. We had to avoid the Dacia that got stuck in a ravine. Doing so, we drove up a small wall and ripped off the right front brake. Then the ride was a bit less pleasant, but we managed it,” Martin Macik reported. About 30 kilometres before the finish of the stage, the gearbox started acting out when the water got into one of the sensors. That’s why the team’s special, named Charles, finished the stage at a slower pace. Nevertheless, in the absolute ranking of the 3rd stage of the Baja Poland, the team won a great 4th place. “Having only the 3 fastest passenger cars in front of you is a great feeling. We seemed to have been going really fast. Charles, although built to ride in the desert, also handles mud well. We only have to fix a few small details by tomorrow,” flight mechanic David Svanda said on Saturday evening.
Sunday on the water
On Sunday morning, the crew of the yellow truck of the Big Shock! Racing team learned that they received a 7-minute penalty. The reason was Saturday’s early entry into one of the service zones. It was, therefore, necessary to set a fast pace right at the start. After the first few kilometres, Macik managed to gradually catch up, but one of the waterlogged peat-bog stopped unexpectedly made the truck stop. After trying it get out of it on their own, the organizers’ excavator had to arrive and pull the Czech truck out. “The truck in front of us still managed to go through the swamp, but we got stuck there. We lost about 20 minutes. In the next stage, the track was so wet and difficult to navigate that we had to go around the peat-bog. The organizers did not let the Liaz truck into the mentioned section at all,“ he track navigator Frantisek Tomasek described the dangers of the Polish track and added: “Navigation was simple, the ride was amazing, the first race of the season certainly did not disappoint. Anyway, next time we would like a test ride somewhere dry.” Overall, however, the team considers the Polish rally a success. “We are satisfied, all the cars we built reached the finish line without any harm. The mud destroyed the Liaz’s clutch, so it was very hard for Dan Stiblik to shift gears, but Francis’ crew definitely had a good experience. We are glad that we did not ruin the technology much even in those extreme conditions. We have new suggestions for further adjustments,“ the team boss, Martin Macik, Sr. evaluated the race.
The crew from Sedlcany is already looking forward to the Tunisian Rally El Chott, which should take place at the end of October and beginning of November. Everyone firmly believes that the race will go according to plan and they will be able to race on a dry track.