Compressor Breaks Down Yet Kolomı Goes On

- 9. 1. 2014, Chilecito/Tacuman, Argentina -

On Thursday night, Martin Kolomı's prospects in this year's Dakar Rally seemed all wrecked due to the first timed section in Stage 5. At the last Check Point Martin Kolomı was in a lead along with Kamazs, but the broken-down compressor prevent him from his "smooth ride". However, driving dozens of kilometres without brakes, swinging and rear change, he managed to arrive at the Finish and would be classified ninth! The repair performed in the neutralisation zone was completed on Thursday night; it was not until that moment when Martin left for another timed section - long hours after the rivals - but went through and arrived at the Bivouac in Tacuman at the dawn shortly before 6 a.m. Despite these desperate troubles the crew had suffered from on Day 5, he did not find himself down to his knees. The night was a real torture but the Fatboy is still in the competition and is going on by Stage 6 on Friday.

"The peace of Thursday morning didn't indicate any problems at all. The accompanying car set off on 572-km-long transfer section running through some beautiful scenery, below snow-covered peaks towering above us at the height of over 5,000 metres above sea level. Enjoying peace and quiet we got disturbed by a satellite phone ringing. It was Martin Kolomı calling to tell us about that fatal-broken-down compressor," depicts Stage 5 Miroslav Forman from the journalists' accompanying car. After a discussion with the TATRA Buggyra Racing Team's technical director, Robin Dolejš, Martin Kolomı's crew decided to go on to finish the timed section. What followed then were steps towards delivery of a new compressor, technical aid and all essential stuff for a repair to the neutralisation zone between two timed sections.

"We had to share tasks; Martin and Robin went to seek parts and to arrange to transport them, I went on with the accompanying truck to the Bivouac. As for coulisse-alike setting and the quantity of spectators the arrival in Tucaman has been the most impressive one so far. The Bivouac was right in the city, on a racecourse. Finally, the repair was arranged, unfortunately, the neutralisation zone was far away from the route for accompanying staff, therefore everything took very long. After the repair had been completed, the TATRA 815 Buggyra's crew went on another part of the timed section where they made help another Czech crew of Jaroslav Walter driving LIAZ, which was broken down and had got stuck on a dune, then went on to the stage Finish. As if all these troubles had not been enough, the right front wheel bearing broke down. So completely-lacking-enough-sleep mechanics had to promptly work again after the crew had arrived to get the vehicle ready for the Start of another stage from Tucuman to Salta. They managed to repair it, and shortly after 8 a.m. all crew - Martin Kolomı, David and René Kiliáns find themselves in the cockpit again zooming towards another 550km with 156km of a timed section. Fortunately, there is a day off on Saturday so the crew and the accompanying staff may have a rest," depicted the situation Miroslav Forman.

"Nothing worked after the compressor had gone off, I thought it was the end ... . But after talking to Robin Dolejš I went on another 100-km journey without brakes. It was thrilling; there were moments it seemed we wouldn't be able to make it. Finally, we came ninth in the Finish of this timed section, sixth in overall Standings, as despite this handicap we had managed to overtake a few competitors. We just regret that another timed section was so soon ... ," commented on Stage 5 a pilot Martin Kolomı. s mates from Plzen, they could not avoid problems completely. "When passing a river basin our antenna was torn off and our navigation system ceased working. Thanks to that we not find the last way point and lost some five minutes. It is a pity, otherwise we would already jump up the podium. Never mind, the more important thing is that the truck holds together and works excellently so far," Kolomı tapped the wood. The podium expectations of himself and his crew were thwarted in the very last moments of the race by the Russian trucker Nikolaev, who was a mere minute quicker. Thus the potato medal was again left for the Tatra Buggyra team. "Although we quite like potatoes, we would like to jump up the podium as well," said the navigator René Kilián.

The longest measured section of this year ´s Dakar Rally is over. But the highest number of total kilometres to cover in one day is waiting for the trucks immediately on the following day. The Thursday 5th stage from Chilecito to Tucuman measures in total the incredible 911 km! this time the organizers again prepared tow measured sections, in total measuring 527 km. "This will be virtually the same as the previous stage. Again a good portion of hard terrain, which I like. A lot may be gained and a lot may be lost. But I hope we will ride in the front. Again we will do our best to move upwards," added Martin Kolomı.

Robin Dolejš, a technical director, now absolutely exhausted and not refreshed added: "It's nothing else but evil luck, because the vehicle is in a good condition, and Martin Kolomı belongs to the top pilots. We are just not lucky. The compressor was a new one, and we had not been able to foresee such a defect. But we have learned a lesson for next year. Now, there is nothing more left but to show we are able to be among the top, and mainly we must collect as much valuable information as we will be able to."

For more information search for,
(from Argentina Miroslav Forman).

Next Races