ALIYYAH KOLOC WAS STOPPED BY ENGINE ISSUES AND KAZARKA DEFENDED THIRD PLACE OVERALL
At the penultimate day of the Dakar Buggyra pilot Jaroslav Valtr finished today’s stage in third position for the second time this year. Stage 13, however, meant bad luck for debutant Aliyyah Koloc who was held up by engine problems. Valtr holds fifth position in the overall truck standings. Martin Šoltys, seventh today, is sixth overall. Róbert Kasák finished 15th today and is 16th overall. Both Buggyra Can-Am DV 21 crews had a tough day. Aliyyah Koloc finished 32nd, keeping her 32nd position overall. Josef Machacek was 31st today, remaining 11th overall. Radovan Kazarka finished fourth in the Dakar Classic , securing third place overall after the last timed section of the day. Tomorrow, unlike the other Buggyra competitors, his crew will only have to get to the finish in Dammam.
Jaroslav Valtr was not happy with the route of today's stage. However, he opted for a full speed driving style which paid off. "The dunes were tricky at the beginning. It was very dangerous for a truck that has a tendancy to lean to the side. We had to back out twice and drive on the dune again. The sand was very loose. But because I wasn’t happy about yesterday, my driving style in the dunes was a little more agressive and it paid off right away. Yesterday I was careful but I put the truck onto its side. You need to be unafraid of the sand, keep the throttle up. It's not pleasant, but you have to drive like that," explained the Tatra Phoenix pilot.
Martin Šoltys, his Tatra Buggyra ZM Racing team-mate, was the happiest of all to reach the finish line. "Thank God we are at the finish line. Today's stage was so strange. Somehow it didn't go so well. We didn't get over one dune on the 120th kilometer. It got a little rough there, but another team pulled us through, so we didn't lose much time. In the afternoon, the sun was shining very brightly and we couldn't see anything. The dunes cast no shadows. We made a couple of bad jumps, but we made it. We will try to finish tomorrow in one piece," said the driver of the Tatra 815.
He had no problems on the remaining 500 kilometers to the bivouac. "I don't mind the long crossing. We have a comfortable truck, so we enjoyed the drive. Five hundred kilometers is nothin," said Martin Šoltys with a smile.
Róbert Kasák enjoyed the penultimate stage of this year's Dakar: 'It was a beautiful dune stage, with almost no gravel, except at the end. It was a typical Mauritanian stage. We encountered big dunes in a few sections, but otherwise it was fine," said the Tatra Buggyra Slovakian driver.
Aliyyah Koloc didn’t have a good day as she was struggling with technical issues. "I am really not happy about today. Shortly after the start of the timed section, we had a problem with the engine power and stopped. Luckily we made it to the finish eventually," she said slightly disappointed.
Her navigator Stéphane Duplé explained the day in more details: "We couldn't get up a small dune and we stopped in the sand. It took us about 30 or 40 minutes to dig ourselves out. I disconnected a plug in the engine, so we could keep going. About ten kilometers before the finish, the engine started acting up again. It was a bad day."
Veteran Josef Machacek was happy with today's track route. "The organisers had warned us that we were going to have a difficult stage. But in my opinion it was not as hard as yesterday or the day before. It was beautiful. It's fun for these cars," said the experienced Buggyra ZM Racing pilot. For tomorrow’s final leg he has one target: "To reach the finish. But we'll see what the organisers come up with for the last day. I remember previous Dakar events when even the last day was very difficult," recalled the six-time winner of the famous rally.
A number of surprises awaited Radovan Kazarka's crew even during the last super stage of the Dakar Classic. "It was a wild ride today. In the dunes, we were surprised not to fall over, but we managed to hold on. In the second half we were driving along the sea, it was quite slippery there. We got all kinds of mud on the truck and under the truck. The last 45 kilometres we were dancing like on ice," said the Slovak pilot.
The experienced driver is very pleased with the final third place in his category. "I am very happy about it, because of Josef Kalina. Show me someone here in the bivouac who at the age of 73 will sit in the Tatra and jump like a young guy. I am most pleased that we managed to merge history and Josef with the replica of the Tatra Puma, it is simply the added value," said Radovan Kazarka
Source Buggyra Racing