Jan 13, 2021
The drivers also agree that as the end is near, they have already begun to think about strategies. All four crews of the Czech team have managed to keep their positions.
The Buggyra Zero Mileage Racing team has decided to put Tomáš Enge in a support role of Josef Macháček. “When you’re first, you go into a stage a bit worried. It was slightly weird at the beginning, with lots of stones and dust. I didn’t like that, but we enjoyed the 2nd half. And while we had a puncture on 160th kilometre, Tomáš and Vlastimil stepped up and it was like a Formula 1 pitstop,” praised Josef Macháček his teammates as he remains the lightweight prototype category leader.
Tomáš Enge took the role of a bodyguard for Josef Macháček today. “It was relatively short today, but still over 300 kilometres. Josef is in the lead, which is our priority now. We have a new role in the team and we’re still learning. We’re watching his back and today we helped him with a puncture. I’m full of emotions and experience and the best would be if we could start Dakar all over again now,“ said Tomáš Enge with a smile.
Meanwhile, Martin Šoltys and his crew ran into technical issues. “It seems like we’re a bit unlucky at the end of the Dakar. It started well, but then Tomáš Šikola noticed that we were losing fuel quickly. We had to stop, and we found out that one of the tubes from a fuel tank had ruptured. We lost a lot of time, but Tomáš fixed it. Near the end, we also struggled with overheating, but we managed to finish. Just two more days, we have to do it,” said Martin Šoltys who lost another hour today, but he stays in 10th place in the overall standings.
At least Ignacio Casale had an easy-going day. He started 8th and also finished in 8th place. “That was nice after yesterday! I think that I’ve got used to the truck by now. We lost 8 minutes today and I think that’s really good. But there was a lot of dust. We’re 9th in the overall standings, but that’s fine. It’s the first year with a truck anyway. There are still 2 more difficult stages ahead of us and we need to survive,” said Casale.
On Thursday, the crews will face what was originally the longest stage of the Dakar Rally 2021 with over 500 kilometres. However, due to the weather conditions, the timed section had to be shortened by 50 kilometres. Yet, the most important and most difficult sections remain on the route and it is almost certain, that this year’s Dakar Rally is going to be decided tomorrow.
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