Victory Within Grasp

- 31. 5. 2014, Hohenmölsen, Germany -

Over the last weekend, another year of two-day rally Baja Deutschland took place close to a ten-thousand-people town of Hohenmölsen (located 20km south of Leipzig) in an open pit mining area. The Svoboda Tatra Team had dispatched both of their Tatras to take part in the rally. Whereas in the crew of "Dakar" Tatra 815 driven by Václav Svoboda were Milan Drázda and Zdeněk Novák, the Tatra Jamal was a German-Czech one having Tom Heuer (D) as a pilot, and Martin Kalous (CZ) and Felix Tonn (D).

Over three hundred teams took part in the Baja Deutschland 2014 divided into seven categories: Motorrad, Quad, Side-by-Side, PKW< 2.0l, PKW>2.0l, LKW< 7.5t, LKW>7.5t. The first of two stages started on Friday, 30th May, at 1.00 p.m. Lining on the starting line, cars successively started in five-minute intervals. Václav Svoboda's Tatra 815 set off on the stage on Friday as the very last one, yet fighting through on the over-two-hundred-km-long track to finish in the second place. Václav Svoboda said on Saturday morning before decisive Stage 2:

"Yesterday, we started from the last position, but were moving ahead through all field to set finally the second best time, well, win is free-for-all, and we'll see ... However, we're ready and just need great luck on this hard track." Unluckily, it was not on the Czech crew's side at the finish as just about two hours before the end of the race a steering failure had occurred in Svoboda's Tatra leading to bumping into a tree. The car had suffered heavy damage, yet the crew managed to mend it, and was able to finish the race. Finally, the crew of the "Dakar" Tatra finished among the first ten likewise another stable's Tatra Jamal with the German-Czech crew.

"Competition in our class over 7.5 tons was pretty strong and numerous. The terrain was soaked after heavy rains and was drying slowly. These all were hallmark of a very gruelling race. In the middle of the decisive stage on Saturday our Tatra was taking the first place thanks to the time ... We were doing our bests for the result. Even when windscreen wipers stopped working at a certain moment and I could see virtually nothing due to layers of black coal mud, we pulled up the car to press out the windscreen, and wearing borrowed pair of goggles we went on without it... So we feel worse about the steering failure and not minor damage on the car, but also not notching the win, which was within our reach. But it'll be repaired soon, and I do believe that the competition here in Germany got aware of taking us into account...," Václav Svoboda, the team's boss said after the Baja Deutschland.

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