DAKAR 2021: BUGGYRA & Covid struggles, back-up plan initiated!
What was not supposed to happen, has exactly happened. But, because Buggyra always has a backup plan in place, the team quickly came up with a solution. Unfortunate personnel changes have affected the final days before leaving for Saudi Arabia.
Three team members have been tested positive for COVID. All three of them were mechanics. “Two guys didn’t make it. The third one, while his test was negative, he spent several hours with one of those positive two in a car. After arriving in Saudi Arabia, we face a quarantine and more testing, so there’s a real possibility that he wouldn’t make it. And we can’t afford that. For many reasons, this change was very personal and complicated, but I had no choice,” says Jan Kalivoda, who decided to go for plan B. “For every mechanic, we have a reserve one. It’s like a reserve army, and they all also went to testing yesterday, just in case, so they were ready and cleared.”
While the reserve team members got the news, the administrative part of the team had to quickly arrange plane tickets and express visas for the flights to Saudi Arabia. We all were hoping for a bit different Christmas, but there’s nothing you can do,” adds the team manager.
But David Vršecký is convinced, that even the reserve mechanics will do a great job and it won’t impact the team much. “We knew that we are going to have four vehicles. That is why we’ve put together a team of the best mechanics. It’s true, that Dakar is all about the experience, and not just for the drivers, but the mechanics as well. It’s a completely different type of pressure, which can even break people, but we will handle it. There’s no other way anyway.”