Last But One Day of Dakar Rally 2014 Competition Witnessing Czech (Beyond-Competition) Duel

- 17. 1. 2014, El Salvador/La Serena, Chile -

I've already announced the duel of the two Czech crews that had withdrawn from the competition; finally, the two-team competition was hold. The rivals were Martin Kolomı's crew going in the Tatra 815 Buggyra and Jaroslav Valtr in his Liaz 11154. This race, private in character, actually began on an asphalt concrete road, went on along dusty paths, and finished on the Pacific Ocean coast. And winner? Let me keep it secret for a while, but both master pilots had to pay for each centimetre.

After leaving the Bivouac nearby El Salvador, we first stopped close to the special timed section Start, and took photos of crews being still in the competition. Then the space was available for the private race. First, it was Jaroslav with his Liaz who was in a lead, but Martin with the Tatra was not behind. Some of his tries to overtake were truly on the edge. "Jaroslav settled in the lead and didn't give me chance to overtake. I was trying to do so, but gave up to leave it for off-road," commented on the start of the race Martin Kolomı.

Actually, Martin started to attack instantly when they moved on path, and next it was Jaroslav who was sticking at the Tatra's rear axle. He was showing that it is possible to catch up with his rival despite the dust. "While moving out of the road, Martin took me by surprise and would overtake me. I know him, I had to stick otherwise he would have torn. I guess, we showed by that dusty ride the top-level performance of our machines," depicted another stage of the race Jaroslav Valtr.

While having a short break before the final Pacific-coast section both pilots exchanged they racing trucks. Robin Dolejš, the technical director of the TATRA Buggyra Racing Team, explained: "Both our racing trucks are equipped with our engines GYRTECH therefore the trucks' performances are comparable. Each of the engines had to respect technical differences, and were mounted differently."£ The Dakar Rally Czech participants' patriarch, Josef Kalina, added: "Both rigid axle and 'swing' show their properties to good advantage, I've driven plenty of kilometres with both. The swing axle suspension is, perhaps, more comfortable when driving, but both compare."

Now, both of the pilots giving their appraisal of the trucks: Jaroslav Valtr: "I love to try any racing truck, Tatra is top, and I just see difference in working and axles function. It was a pleasant ride." Martin Kolomı: "I'm familiar with Liaz, well, no surprise for me. But Liaz with the GYRTECH engine is capable of competition."

The final section was hugely enjoyed by both drivers. The technical passages along the shore were much to the delight of onlookers, indeed. After all they attracted many locals' attention. Wild but exact ones of Martin contrasted those of Jaroslav, seemingly calm but fast. It was a lovely end of today's duelling, however there is one seamy side: Would have the crews fared well too if they had not suffered those technical problems and withdrawn from the competition? Well, we might see next year ...

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(from Chile Miroslav Forman).

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