Here it is, the Dakar 2020 has started another adventure that millions of fans had impatiently been waiting for. Thirty-year-old truck driver Martin Macik, with the support of navigator Frantisek Tomasek and mechanic David Svanda, also set off to the 1st Saudi Arabian stage, leading from Jeddah to Al Wajh. The drivers of the Big Shock Racing Sedlcany team enjoy their Dakar ride this year in the new Iveco special number 504 called Charles. They managed the opening stony stage with ease. They were slowed down only by a minor error in navigation and slightly reduced performance of their truck in one part of the stage. Eventually, they finished in a great 5th place.
In the early morning hours, motorcyclist Jan Brabec also set off on a 752 km-long track, 319 of which were timed. His first victory was the very fact that after a complicated injury, he managed to get back into shape and stand on the Dakar 2020 start. The former successful motocross racer who just started his 3rd Dakar is driving a KTM 450 Rally with starting number 43. It turned out that Brabec did not underestimate the preparation at all, as he flew through the opening stage without major hesitation, finished in the 36th position and improved his placement by 7 places.
Karel on half-throttle in TOP 5
It was no gradual start. The first stage of the Dakar 2020 immediately brought a lot of challenging kilometres. The track was dominated by sections full of sharp, sand-covered stones. Martin said that even after seven years of Dakar, he has slower starts, gives everything a lot of thought and does not let himself be unnecessarily carried away by partial successes or setbacks. This time, however, he went through the stage at a fast pace and took a beautiful 5th place. “Everyone’s excited, so they’re going crazy. As is my habit, it took me a while to get going properly. The only setback was a lower performance in about the third part of the stage, but we know what it is and it wasn’t a big deal. Otherwise, we’re happy, we know that we can accelerate even more, and I am happy that our Czech crew nicely lined up in the front,” Martin Macik reported. “We haven’t given it 100% yet. Navigation is more complicated, but it’s nothing that would surprise us. We missed only one of the points the first time, we missed it by about 100 meters and had to go round again. We drove in complete peace, both driving and navigational. We still have a lot more to show. This was just chill,” navigator Frantisek Tomasek added.
Brabec’s wake-up call
Jan Brabec entered this year’s Dakar intending to slow down and not wander. “The organizers made me the happiest by arranging coloured-in roadbooks. I didn’t like those hours of drawing. I will use the saved time to sleep,” Brabec has planned. Sleep will certainly come in handy because Jan had the alarm for 03.40 today. At the beginning of the race, Brabec mainly planned to test how his leg reacts to everything. He still has some screws in there since the May accident in the African desert. However, after recovery and training, he again feels confident and happy on the motorcycle, even though he has not yet driven to his full abilities. “It was a pleasant stage. I was getting into the pace for the first 100 km because my last race was the Dakar 2019. So after a year’s pause, I had to get into the racing mode again. I won’t go to the fullest yet for the first 3-4 stages because of the leg, I’ll wait first for what happens. But still, so far I’m happy,” Jan Brabec reported. He managed to pass the first stage will flying colours even though the rocky track was especially rough for the bikers, so the tires were busy. Jan Brabec had no issue with navigation this time either and finished in the 36th place.
Video from 1st stage this!