Dakar in Its Second Half, Martin Kolomı Is About to Begin!

- 11. 1. 2015, Calama, Iquique (Chile) -

Two stages past Iquique, Chile, completed the first half of this year's Rally Dakar; pilots of trucks are having a day off tomorrow. However, the stages did put all crews to the test, as it was for the first time they had gone without their back-up teams. All was on the crews' shoulders! Showing his ability to fight in the area of sand dunes despite not feeling fine in such an environment, Martin Kolomı bettered his position in the rankings taking eight place, and gaining on two competitors before him. Actually, his pursuit has just started, so we all believe he will finally finish in the fifth place, at worst!

"I like driving among sand dunes, and I always enjoy it. All those going in front are nearly exposed to real hazard, and there are often just seconds left to take the right decision. We lost not too much, neither yesterday nor today. Vice versa we've made catch up with competitors by a few very important minutes, so we're in with a real chance of getting ahead of them in the rankings in next stages," Martin Kolomı depicted the atmosphere.

This year, the route of Stages 7 and 8 had been running through the area surrounding Iquique; the bivouac after Stage 7 was closed to anybody, except for race crews and quick assistance. Therefore teams, including mechanics, had stayed in the bivouac in Iquique, and truck crews passed the night elsewhere relying on themselves alone. This novelty, naturally, made heavy demands on all crew members' skills and minds, nevertheless Martin Kolomı's Tatra and the brothers Kiliáns would be able to easily cope with that. They finished fairly hard Stage 7 in ninth place without losing too much to their strongest competitors, Dutch drivers Stacey and Van den Brink, and beating another rival, Viazovich, Belarus. They finished in sixth place in another Stage, having so a good position to attack their rivals' positions after a day off.

"What is important is that Tatra 815 FATBOY is in a good condition in the middle of the race, without suffering grazes, and we're able to change all potentially hazardous spares during the day off. Therefore it doesn't seem impossible for Martin to attack his rivals' positions in the second half of the rally. What is more, after another liaison on Argentinean territory, there are hard surfaces that suit us. And, we have an ace up our sleeve: Martin Kolomı hasn't had his proverbial good luck charm with him, Green Frog, so far, as he had left it at home. Arriving after a long flight, his Green Frog has been here since the morning, so Martin is definitely gonna go as if 'fighting for his life'," Jan Kalivoda, the team's manager said being in a good humour.

For ÈSMS Miroslav Forman, Iquique Chile

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