Buggyra ZM Racing’s Valtr takes 3rd place on Dakar 11th stage, Aliyyah Koloc masterfully overcame its pitfalls
On the penultimate day of the Dakar Rally, the organisers prepared an extremely demanding stage for the participants. The Buggyra team can be especially pleased that its representatives handled it honorably. Buggyra ZM Racing could celebrate the third place of Jaroslav Valtr in Tatra Phoenix and the fourth place of Pascal de Baar in Tatra Buggyra EVO3. Daniel Stiblík, also in a Phoenix, finished fifteenth. All three are now competing outside the overall standings. Also deserving of accolades, Aliyyah Koloc, just 19 years old, successfully navigated the rigours of the rough stage in the RedLined Revo T1+ car and finished 35th in the elite Ultimate car category. She is 27th overall ahead of the final day of competition.
Aliyyah Koloc completed one of the most challenging stages of this year’s Dakar. “It was definitely one of the worst days. At the beginning, we were going very slow so we wouldn’t puncture. A few cars got ahead of us, but then the punctures came and we passed them again. At about the 300th kilometre, we had our first puncture, then another puncture came. There was a lot going on today, even in terms of navigation. That’s why I’m glad we got it over with. I am looking forward to the last stage tomorrow,” said the young racer.
“It was a day when you could lose everything, and indeed, some of the best competitors did. Being at the finish is what matters most,” navigator Sébastien Delaunay reminded us of the tricky penultimate stage.
Jaroslav Valtr was happy with his third place, but at the same time tired from the extreme terrain. “The whole stage was a smash. Lots of rocks, technical passages, riverbeds. About a tenth of the stage was fast, otherwise it was in the rocks. Once we flew really hard, very long and very high. After the impact, all the electricity went out, so we lost at least ten minutes. Otherwise it was hard work, hard work, hard work,” he described his impressions.
Pascal de Baar reached the finish line without a windscreen, but with a good result. “We knew it was going to be a tough day, so we had to race smart. I don’t think we made any mistakes. It’s just that halfway through the stage we got a branch in the window on my side and it broke. Twenty kilometres from the end another branch hit it, so we had to kick it out with our feet. Then everything was flying in our eyes, which was stressful. We had to go back to two waypoints and that’s when we also got a flat,” the Dutchman described his experience of the difficult day.