Nov 24, 2018
With number 7 and for the 13th time. Aleš Loprais to face the dunes of Dakar
When it comes to trucks, Aleš Loprais is the most experienced and currently the most successful Czech driver. He finished 3rd on his debut back in 2007, when the race was still in Africa. Since then, he participated in 12 Dakar Rally races, won 9 stages, finished 5 times in overall Top 10, took the 4th place overall in 2015 and his last stage to date came at this year’s South American adventure.
“I like to remember every single race, no matter how they went. Though obviously, it’s better to remember those more successful ones. I actually had two debuts at Dakar Rally. In 2006 I was a navigator for my uncle Karel and then a year later I started on my own for the first time. And then it all moved to America,” says Aleš Loprais.
And since 2006, Aleš Loprais did not miss a single Dakar Rally race, which gives a total number of 12 races.
“Every Dakar Rally gives you some new experience, and that applies to every race in dunes actually. That’s why we went to Morocco twice this year. We worked very well as a team and even managed to leave behind big names on trucks or cars on our way to win the competition. And we head to Peru in the same line-up.”
“We were also considering going to our favourite Silk Way Rally as we have some awesome memories from there thanks to our 3rd and 1st place finishes from the previous year. However, due to the logistical and also time constraints, we have decided to give Morocco Desert Challenge a go, which is getting better and better every year amongst the Rally Raid competitions.”
Their workshop at Frenštát pod Radhoštěm was busy until the final moments. But on Tuesday the Instaforex Loprais Team began their trip to Le Havre, France to get on the ship and do some administrative tasks.
“Even if we had to leave a week earlier, it wouldn’t be a problem. Because we would have to! The ship won’t wait! (laughter). And if we had been given one more week for preparations, we would be still working on the car as there is always something to do. The development of our racing Tatra is our everyday routine and it’s a long-term process. While our fleet is heading to America, I’ve moved to Dubai to practise in the sand dunes until the end of the month as Dakar Rally organisers are promising about 70 per cent of sand.”
For Aleš Loprais it all begins on 6th January, joined by his Spanish navigator Ferran Marco Alcayna and a chief mechanic Petr Pokora start in the 41st Dakar Rally race. There will be 10 stages awaiting for their Tatra with number 507.
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