Kolomý Sharing Third Place After Stage 1

- 4. 1. 2015, Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina -

Stage 1 in the Dakar Rally was a dramatic one for the Czech team TATRA Buggyra Racing. Before Martin Kolomý went through a special stage taking a third place at that moment, the crew had faced technical problems as well as difficulties on the piste. What is more the press vehicle got lost as the satellite tracking system IriTrack had stopped working.

The organisers lost touch with the Czech team TATRA Buggyra Racing’s press vehicle a photographer, Martin Kozák, and a cameraman, Petr Kubík, had set off in early in the morning. Then it had taken nearly two hours before the off-road vehicle’s crew got in contact with the team again. “We sprung a huge surprise by an ASO’s phone call, indeed. Naturally, first we thought it might have been a failure in the monitoring system, however, as the boys hadn’t been letting us hear from them for nearly two hours only then did gloomy ideas come into my head. The organisers’ attitude really is professional one, so they arranged for helicopter and the local police to find them. Fortunately, it was just unnecessary alarm; the boys finally called us. Well, now we can keep everybody home informed, and go on sending pictures,” was Jan Kalivoda’s comment on that incident.

Before a scheduled 175-km long Special Stage and a liaison of the same length, the crew had experienced a dramatic start due to a malfunctioning starter. However, it was nothing that serious the crew would not have been able to deal with. Martin Kolomý began the stage at brisk paces, and was moving ahead being among the first three. However, somewhere at the middle of the SS the Fat Boy began losing a bit due to a breakdown in Intercom, so the communication with the crew was rather difficult. Then, a car after having an accident had been allowed on the piste again, but unluckily, it entered the track just before TATRA, race number 506, which resulted in another hold-up. “It isn’t that bad for the beginning; some minor complications had occurred, though ... but we dealt with them. I feel satisfied despite it could have been better. Now we must mend the Intercom, otherwise René will lose his voice and won’t be able to speak,” said in Stage 1 finish Martin Kolomý, who is now sharing the third place with a Czech driver, Aleš Loprais.

Tatra 815 Buggyra ran like clockwork and if it had not been those problems, Martin Kolomý could have attacked the second position. “Our technique had suffered a bit on ship, which resulted in that starter and Intercom failure. I’ll have checked everything by the morning so that the boys could only concentrate on race,” was the Buggyra team’s technical director, Robin Dolejš’s comment on those problems.

What awaits crews on Monday is Stage 2 leading from Villa Carlos Paz to San Juan, which is as 200 km shorter as the previous one, but its Special Stage is 331 km in length. “I’d nearly lost my voice, but we made it. Tomorrow, there’s fairly hard stage; we were advised caution at the briefing, as we’re heading to the mountains, so there’ll be height differences and long slopes with dangerous steep rock faces; we might even face wild animals ... so well, let’s hope we won’t knock them down, since Martin is definitely not gonna brake,” said René Kilián in the bivouac with a smile on his face.

Results, Stage 1 (175 km): 1st Stacey (NLD), Iveco, 1:30:43; 2nd Van Vliet (NLD,) MAN, +0:35; 3rd Kolomý (CZE), Tatra, +0:47; 3rd Loprais (CZE), MAN, +0:47; 5th Van den Brink (NLD), Renault, +0:58; 13th Ardavichus (KAZ), Tatra, +3:49; 15th Macík (CZE), Liaz, +5:40; 21st Vrátný (CZE), Tatra, +9:21; 37th Szustkowski (POL), Tatra, +21:54

For more information search for www.buggyra.com

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