Dakar Tour Prague: The Czechs as faithful as ever

Dakar’s family in Prague/ Credit: Karel SANDA

Key points:

• The Dakar Tour paid a visit to the Czech competitors, teams and media, who came to Prague for the presentation conference.

• There will, once again, be a large contingent of Czech trucks on the 40th edition in January 2018. The country remains very loyal to this category.

• The presentation of the rally-route and especially the return to Peru and its dunes won over the drivers and the public.

The long love story between the Dakar and the Czech Republic has contributed greatly to the history of this rally. Since the first editions, the Czechs have always been present and some among them have stimulated a real buzz back home: personalities like six-time winner in the truck category, Karel Loprais (uncle of Ales Loprais), and of course Josef Macháček, who won the quad honours five times. This relationship with the Dakar continues today with the presence of several Dakar participants at the Prague stop of the Dakar Tour. The leading teams answered the call, like Buggyra, Barth Racing Team, MRG and of course KM Racing.

And like in the previous countries visited, the presentation of the 2018 rally-route, and in particular the presence of Peru, its dunes and loop stages won over the public. “On paper, it looks wonderful!” said car competitor Tomas Ourednicek, who missed the rally this year but decided to return for 2018. A feeling shared by a large number of rally-raid regulars.

Martin Macik (10th in 2017), from the Czech team with the most participations on the Dakar in South America, KM Racing, announced the presence of new rider, including a rookie that will ride in the Dakar Challenge on the Afriquia Merzouga Rally and the entry of a second truck. Similarly, rally driver Martin Prokop seems to have been bitten by the Dakar bug after two participations and will take part in the 40th edition next January.