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Aliyyah Koloc achieves her second best stage result in 13th; Valtr moved up to fourth overall in the truck category

For the second time, Buggyra ZM Racing crews took on the marathon stage of the Dakar. What's more, today they had no technical support at all in the bivouac.

TALLINN, ESTONIA, January 12, 2023 / -- All maintenance on their vehicles had to be done by the drivers and navigators themselves (and in the case of the trucks, the on-board mechanics) after battling the tricky Empty Quarter desert. Debutant Aliyyah Koloc achieved her second best stage result of her first Dakar today: she finished 13th in the T3 - Light Prototypes category and is now 32nd overall. Josef Machacek finished 16th on today‘s stage and remains in 11th position overall. After today's fifth place, Jaroslav Valtr moved up to fourth place in the overall truck standings. Martin Šoltys is sixth overall, he achieved the seventh best time today. Róbert Kasák ranked 18th today, making him 15th overall. Radovan Kazarka finished his second marathon stage today in the Dakar Classic category. After having to dig his Tatra out of the sand, he was classified third in his category, ranking also third overall.

Aliyyah Koloc confirmed today that she knows how to drive in the dunes. She handled the pitfalls of the fourth biggest desert in the world with confidence. "Some of the dunes were very challenging. Many cars got stuck, but luckily we didn't. We managed to avoid such problems. There were parts of the track where we could hardly see anything because of the shade. But we managed and I really enjoyed today. There were no problems with the Can-Am, so I don't have anything major to fix. I am looking forward to the second part of the marathon stage tomorrow," said the 18-year-old.

Josef Machacek, though being one of the most experienced Dakar racers, was taken slightly by surprise by today’s dunes. "It was a bit of a surprise. We thought the dunes would be the same as yesterday. They were dry, but quite treacherous. The descents were steep and you had to be careful not to make a mistake," explained the driver of the Buggyra ZM Academy team.

Jaroslav Valtr did not get stuck in the sand of those difficult dunes either with his Tatra. On the contrary, he confirmed that he is one of the best Dakar truck racers this year. "Today it was dunes, dunes, dunes. Here and there a crossing in the salt flats. Luckily the ground was hard, so nobody had to dig. For me, it was such a tiring stage because you have to be very careful where you go with the truck But I think we did pretty well. We have no major issues with the truck, only some kind of a bump on the left front, so we're going to change the tire. Otherwise, we will just carry out some routine maintenance, check the oil, and things like that," said the Tatra Buggyra ZM Racing team pilot, who drives aTatra Phoenix.

Valtr was happy about the early arrival to the temporary bivouac after the first part of the marathon stage. "We will dry off nicely in the sun. I'm soaking wet and sweaty. It's a nice breeze, the sun is shining, it's warm. It's nice not to arrive in the dark," he added.

His team-mate Martin Šoltys felt sorry for his colleagues in the cars on the steep dunes. "The stage was good, it was long and difficult. We were facing a lot of dunes., I saw a lot of overturned cars. The passenger cars had a problem with the dune exits. We didn't have any major problems. We will carry out the usual maintenance, blow out the filters, check and possibly add some oil, and tomorrow we will continue," said the Tatra 815 pilot. "This Dakar I am fine. I am not tired, I was mentally and physically prepared for the event. I hope that we will survive the remaining three days," Martin Šoltys described his current state of mind.

Unlike the other categories, the Dakar Classic has already finished the second part of its marathon stages. "One was faster but it was okay. We finished third. Today we finally got to the dunes. After one jump on one of them, we found out why we carry shovels and sheets under our tires. We lost two hours there. Then two truck crews came in and dug us out. The whole place was shut down later by organizers because it was dangerous. In the dunes we collected waypoints and it went well," said Radovan Kazarka, driver of the Tatra Puma.

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