Orlen Team has arrived back to Poland after the fight in 41st Dakar Rally. Kuba Przygoński with his co-driver Tom Colsoul and bikers Adam Tomiczek and Maciej Giemza have thousands of kilometers on sand in Peru behind them. In Warsaw the competitors, trainers and PKN Orlen representatives summarized team’s performance in the toughest rally in the world.
“With participation in 41st Dakar Rally, Orlen Team wrote another beautiful page in its history. This year’s appearance and result achieved are the best gift for 20th anniversary of Orlen Team. Amazing World Cup season and full of emotions Dakar Rally are behind us – we believe that PKN Orlen and Orlen Team have another year full of common successes and great sporting moments ahead,”
Kuba Przygoński was the first to tell about his impressions from 41st Dakar Rally. For the Orlen Team driver it was the 10th participation in the world’s toughest rally, what let him join the bunch of “the Legends” of Dakar.
“It was an extremely tough rally, so the organizers’ previews became 100% true. There was a lot of soft sand, and that’s what drivers are afraid of the most – you can lose a lot of time because of it, lose the rally in one place. For us, the most difficult moment was the problem with the gearbox – we lost over an hour, but, luckily, it was fixed quickly. But the stress we had was huge. Then we also got a lot of support, for which I have to thank family and fans, who believed in me until the very end,”
Finally, the driver, co-driven by Tom Colsoul, finished 4th, missing out on the podium by only 34 minutes. The competitor of Orlen Team improved his last year’s result by one place and thus achieved the best result in the history of his starts in Dakar Rally.
“We were positively shocked that we were able to drive with the same pace as the real masters of the steering wheel, like Al-Attiyah, Sainz, de Villiers, Roma, Loeb – we were fighting with top Dakar competitors, who have raced for 30 years, almost as much as I live. We are proud to represent Poland and our partners, like PKN Orlen, with great distinction, competing as equals with the biggest motorsport players in the world. Fighting on every stage we gained something, for what we had craved for years – respect from top Dakar competitors,”
The competitor of Orlen Team emphasized that the right preparation for this year’s Dakar was the key.
“After Dakar, it’ time for summaries, making plans for next year. For sure we’ll come back to the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies – participation in the 2018 edition made us jump onto a higher level in terms of confidence and pace of driving. We’ll try to repeat this training plan to be stronger in the next Dakar,”
Orlen Team bikers were also doing well in Dakar Rally, and became more and more confident with every finished stage. Adam Tomiczek did really great, achieving the result of his life in Dakar by finishing 16th. Maciej Giemza was also close to top 20, but in one of the last stages his bike seized up.
“I consider my performance very successful – every day I tried to ride my best, what resulted in a place in top 20. The most stressful moment of the whole competition was my bike failure in the marathon stage. I had to fix it myself, without the help of the service team, but luckily everything went well. Participation in the really entails great physical effort – tiredness set in, and after next stages, jumps from the dunes and bumps, I started to feel the pain in my formerly broken leg. First Dakar finish and top 20 result – it makes me really happy. Now it’s time for having some rest, regeneration and making plans for the next season,”
“I gained a lot of positive experience and knowledge from this rally, although Dakar 2019 was a bit unlucky for me. I was ready 100%, the bike was doing well, until that unlucky Stage 8. Then I had engine failure, which put me out of the rally. Sorrow was huge, especially because from 6th, 7th stage I started to increase the pace, reaching the level that enable me to compete with the best riders in the world. I hope that I will learn this lesson for future – which will certainly pay off,”
The attitude of the whole team was appreciated by Jacek Czachor, member of training staff of Orlen Team, who finished the Dakar Rally 13 times as a competitor.
“The attitude of the whole Orlen Team deserves praise – Kuba drove great, Adam had a positive performance, and Maciej was riding really well too until the failure. This rally showed that our young bikers are competitors worth training harder. They can keep the pace set by top competitors, they ride with confidence, sometimes they make navigational mistakes, but these are mistakes that can be eliminated in the next stages of training. One thing is sure – the rally in Peru proves that in the near future our bikers will fight for the top 10. Only because of mechanical problems, which happened also to the top competitors, we don’t have two bikers in top 20 of the rally,”
Now for Kuba Przygoński, Adam Tomiczek and Maciej Giemza it’s time to rest and regenerate after this extremely demanding rally. Soon Orlen Team competitors will start preparations for the next season of cross-country rallies.
Translation: Anna Michalska, Rita Kónya