Dakar 2024: Drama before the start. Buggyra changes driver line-up at the last minute!

Dakar 2024: Drama before the start. Buggyra changes driver line-up at the last minute!

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Just a few days before the start of the Dakar Rally, the Tatra Buggyra ZM Racing team had to make a major change in the crew line-up of the new Tatra Buggyra EVO3 truck. Unfortunately, Martin Šoltys was injured in the final part of his preparation for the famous event and will be replaced by Dutchman Pascal de Baar. This is hopefully the final line-up of the team, which also consists of Aliyyah Koloc in the car category and Jaroslav Valtr and Daniel Stiblík in the truck category.

"We have to confirm that Martin Šoltys will miss his Dakar 2024 start due to his recovery from injury. However, we have managed to secure an adequate replacement to continue the testing programme with the new car. Pascal de Baar is a very experienced racer, and I believe that our cooperation collaboration on the EVO3 project will be successful," said Martin Koloc, Buggyra‘s Team Principal.

"To miss the debut of the Tatra Buggyra EVO3 just before the start is indescribable. I am very sorry to have made things so difficult for the team. It's a shame, but that's part of the sport. Now I have to focus on treating my injuries and I will keep my fingers crossed for the whole team, at least from home," said Martin Šoltys.

Pascal de Baar was originally scheduled to take on the role of fast assist for the Boucou Assistance team at the wheel of the MAN in January. He welcomed the opportunity to drive the Tatra with joy. "I appreciate the fact that Buggyra boss Martin Koloc approached me. Tatra has had a great name in Dakar for decades, and it is an honour to drive such an exceptional vehicle as the new Tatra Buggyra EVO3. Even though I will only get to know it just before the start of the event, I believe I will be an asset to the team," said the Dutch driver, whose navigator will be compatriot Gijsbert Verschoor. Tomáš Šikola remains their mechanic.

After her debut in the T3 Lightweight Prototype class in January, Aliyyah Koloc is set to make another debut. At only 19 years old, she will be racing in the elite T1+ class with the RedLined Revo T1+. Her navigator will be Frenchman Sébastien Delaunay. After recent testing in Abu Dhabi, she is ready to take on the car's elite. "The races I did with this car before the Dakar definitely helped me improve as a racer, as did the final tests. Now I'm looking forward to the start of the rally where I want to show everything I have in me," said Aliyyah.

Buggyra will once again field three race trucks. In addition to the aforementioned new EVO3, the experienced Jaroslav Valtr will be at the start of the Dakar Rally. He will defend his excellent fifth place in the Tatra Phoenix. "The upcoming competition will be challenging. The route promises to be probably the toughest Dakar in Saudi Arabia. As a driver, I am of course looking forward to it, even though I know it will be hard work," said the 54-year-old driver.

Daniel Stiblík will make his Dakar debut in January. The newcomer will be behind the wheel of the second Phoenix of Tatra Buggyra ZM Racing. "I am very much looking forward to my debut. I will fulfill my childhood dream. It will be great to be a part of this legendary race, as a member of the Buggyra team," he said.

The Dakar Rally takes place from January 5 to 19, 2024, in Saudi Arabia. It starts in the city of Al-UIa, crosses the country towards the legendary Empty Quarter area, and finishes in Yanbu on the shores of the Red Sea.

Buggyra at the Dakar Rally 2024:


  • #239 Aliyyah Koloc - Sébastien Delaunay, RedLined Revo T1+


  • #604 Jaroslav Valtr - René Kilián - David Kilián, Tatra Phoenix
  • #605 Pascal de Baar - Gijsbert Verschoor - Tomáš Šikola, Tatra Buggyra Evo3
  • #626 Daniel Stiblík - Lukáš Kvasnica - Jiří Tomec, Tatra Phoenix

Source: Buggyra Team

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