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Kolomý, ther Knight of the Sorry Face of This Edition of Dakar Rally, Šoltys A Pleasant Surprise

Kolomý, ther Knight of the Sorry Face of This Edition of Dakar Rally, Šoltys A Pleasant Surprise

Datum: 24.1. 2018

Both pilots of the Tatra Buggyra Racing Team arrived in the finish of this year´s jubilee 40th edition of the Dakar Rally. Martin Kolomý, who had to fight not only against his rivals but also against his unfavourable fate, drove his Tatra successfully to the finish in Cordoba, Argentina. Martin Šoltys managed to reach the finish with twelfth overall rank despite being newcomer to Dakar. Another small victory of the Buggyra team was the second overall rank of their Gyrtech engine in a Maz!

The 40th edition is over, it passed much too quickly. In fact for us this was already the 5th year of participation at Dakar Rally. Frankly speaking, we arrived here with much higher expectations. The eleventh and the twelfth ranks were not our top objective, but when I look at it objectively today, Martin Šoltys performed really excellently and surprised not only himself but also all people around him, for when we saw the stages the organizers had prepared for us, whether the dune fields or the extreme sections in Argentina, I must say that hardly anybody believed that Pepík Kalina and his two newcomers would manage that. However, Pepa drew them through the whole Dakar, with the final 12th rank. I think this is a tremendous success. On the other hand, I am personally quite sad about Martin, for he is a great fighter. Although he had problems in stage three, he slowly reduced his big loss as the stages passed one by one, and when it seemed that he was able to reach the top five, suddenly in the last stage, kind of epilogue, he did not start for his drive shaft breakdown, and increased his loss again. So his final rank is 11th, so I regret this a little for him, but on the other hand after this extreme here, I am very glad both trucks are in the finish. Many favourites were not that lucky. So from this point of view we are pleased and motivated for the following editions, where we know what to improve and so we go on,“ was the team manager Jan Kalivoda´s overall evaluation of the performance of the Roudnice team at this Dakar Rally.

Martin Kolomý fought his way forward after the big loss gained at stage three, and when it seemed that hid time deficit might be made up for, he was knocked down to his knees again in the very last stage by his driveshaft. He arrived in the finish of the final stage, always crowded with media representatives and fans, when it was already completely empty, as the very last pilot in the race. A sad view of the fighter who faced every unfavourable condition during the race to drive his Tatra to the finish at any cost. “After all those hells in the course of the stages the last one was the biggest hell, when our drive shaft broke by material fatigue at the very beginning, probably due to yesterday´s bumps. We repaired it and the second hell began after start. We found that the track was already full of the aborigines and normally accessible to the public. And it began to rain on top of all that. So rather a precarious situation, for we only had four hours for the transfer and did not know whether we would arrive in time or not. So I had to heat under the boilers as much as I could. But we are in the finish, we managed it and are not disqualified, so good,“said Kolomý about the last stage.

The organizers prepared this Dakar excellently. It was hell on the earth, for people and for the technologies. But we have both Tatras in the finish. Although half-broken to pieces, we tried to put them together a little every day. Sometimes we succeeded, sometimes we did not. This was a really hard Dakar. Maybe they wanted to take a revenge for our complaints that the last editions were much too easy. I say frankly, I am glad to be in the finish and all right from the physical point of view,“ Kolomý praised the organizers. Thus in the overall ranking the native of Bruntál ended one rank below the top ten, with his eleventh rank.
The second pilot of the Tatra Buggyra Racing team Martin Šoltys arrived to the finish of his premiere Dakar Rally successfully and with the twelfth rank. “I think I have managed that quite well. We had no big problems, no puzzle, no danger to fly off or fall somewhere. I will probably remember the whole Dakar, but the sand dunes most. They were for me the biggest experience in my life so far for they were very difficult. I am happy to be in the finish. When I saw the rally stars fall off one by one, those pilots whom I admired and looked up to for years, I said to myself: It is a miracle that we are still continuing. I am really much satisfied,“ was Martin Šoltys´ evaluation of his first Dakar Rally participation.

The legendary navigator Jan Kalina is successfully through his 26th Dakar. “Generally speaking, I have no reason to complain. I have accomplished two main tasks. To drive this crew successfully to the finish, that was the main goal. The second goal was rather personal, I wanted to endure and not to thwart it to them by my age. And I managed that too. So I feel absolutely fantastically,“ said Josef Kalina in the finish of the last, fourteenth stage.

The Buggyra team scored another little victory at this Dakar when their Gyrtech engine mounted in a Maz racing special managed to finish with the overall second rank, thanks to pilot Viazovich of Belarus. “It is really pleasant to watch our engine settled at the absolute world top, as another evidence that we are heading in the right direction,“ was a comment on this success by the engineering director, Mr. Robin Dolejš.