Multi-faceted Czech Buggyra Racing team – Up and running again – ‘Nothing is lost yet’
EXCLUSIVE Report by Milan Olšansky – ITOY
The Coronavirus has affected literally all sectors of human activity. Everything stopped. People stopped living a normal life, but there are small signs that the situation is improving and return to some normal reality is already appearing. The testing activities of the Czech Buggyra Racing team are some of the actions recommencing.
Buggyra is a phenomenon within Czech motorsport with a strong international accent that aims to appear again in more disciplines than has been the case so far. To date, the Buggyra name is associated almost exclusively with truck racing, not only European circuits (Buggyra trucks), but also in Indian and Chinese (Tatra and Buggyra trucks). However, for the past seven years, Buggyra has appeared relatively successfully in rally sport of the highest world level, specifically in the Cross-Country Rally competitions and the famous Dakar Rally itself (Tatra 815 Fat Boy, Tatra Phoenix G2, G3).
Then last year, a coming together with the Mičánek Motorsport team on the Lamborghini SuperTrofeo series. For 2020, it planned to expand its racing activities in alliance with the Zero Mileage Lubricants team in the Chinese GT Championship. At the steering wheel of the Mercedes GT3 will be David Vršecký, twice European Champion in FIA Truck Racing Series, three-time Chinese champion in circuit racing and multiple speed and endurance world record holder. His new race partner is the only Czech to ever race in Formula 1, Tomáš Enge.
Despite all the difficulties brought about by the difficult situation with COVID-19 and the cancellation of the majority of motorsport events, the Buggyra team management is not too worried but is determined to be perfectly prepared for all racing competitions when they happen soon again. Last week the team set out for a first batch of testing this year.
The unusual silence that prevailed at the Most racetrack after the introduction of Government restrictive measures was cut by the engines of the Buggyra Racing team’s racing specials. “After a long time, we were again able to go to the circuit and start preparing properly for the upcoming season. It’s a great feeling to smell the petrol fumes and burnt tyres again,” Former Prost F1 driver (2001) Tomáš Enge also rejoiced at the opportunity to test.
“We are excited to be able to test under the current conditions. We definitely still believe that most of this year’s races will take place and we want to be at the forefront right from the start,” added David Vršecký, his new teammate. “The current situation is certainly difficult for all racing and motorsports teams, but SuperTrofeo Europe does not interrupt the event yet, it just moves them on, so we believe that we will leave the season one hundred percent,” shared the optimism of Jiří Mičánek, Mičánek Motorsport.
“We are lucky to have this opportunity to test with a full field present. We had all our circuit cars specially prepared and as most of the top drivers are here, we can evaluate how well we are currently performing and move on further,” explained team mentor Martin Koloc. At the Most Autodrome, machines of four different disciplines and specifications were driven…and fast! “We have the Renault Clio from the Buggyra Academy, the drivers from Mičánek came with Lamborghini, and of course, we drove the circuit with a Mercedes GT3 for the first time. Then there was also the Buggyra VK racing truck, where we made some changes to the engine, so we could find out how it behaved on the track,” highlighted Chief Designer at Buggyra, David Vršecký.
As all the cars gathered, a few drivers were missing due to the current COVID-19 situation. “Unfortunately, as far as trucks are concerned, we don’t have any of our main drivers here. Although regular Adam Lacko has already returned from Spain, he is still in mandatory quarantine. New pilot Téo Calvet, who is from France, doesn’t even have a chance to get here at the moment, so I drove a few laps. Tomáš also had some runs as did Aliyyah Koloc with VK for the rest of the day,” added David.
“The test sessions went very well, for the first time we actually had the opportunity to put the GT on the circuit. We tried different settings, watch the times and get used to the car,” said Tomáš Enge. “David learns, finds out what it’s like to drive a car that has a lot of down pressure and doesn’t weigh 5 tonnes, (in reference to his expertise in truck racing). Very quick reactions are needed to get the best out of such a car, and it will, of course, take some time for David to get used to it, but I am convinced that he will then drive the same times as me or the other drivers,” said his partner Enge.
Azure skies, cool air and the first kilometers alone on the track for Vršecký provided an ideal real acquaintance with the new car. Afterwards he stated: “I drove a GT for the first time, I’m absolutely excited about it, everything is different, I learned more every kilometer. Tomas drove the reference lap time and I was trying to reach that time. It’s something new for me and I enjoy new things, so for me a great day.”