After the Friday’s collapse, when the broken hose of compressor took Aleš Loprais in the penultimate stage hopes on the overall ranking among the top three in this year’s Dakar, came patch on Saturday in the form of the second stage gold! The whole team showed indomitable spirit. Everyone fought, even though the chances of better results were away. The mechanics did a great job, the Queen 69 has passed a thorough service before the last stage and the remuneration came.
Aleš Loprais had to deal in the 157 km long special stage with the fact that he started up from the bottom of the field, but he made it masterfully in the cooperation with the navigator Serge Bruynkens and the mechanics Radim Pustějovský. He was on the third place in the first waypoint, in the second he was the fastest and nothing changed till the finish!
Even the accident of Zhou Yong from the China, whose car blocked the path for some time, didn’t stop him. On the second place finished yesterday de Rooy with the loss of two and half minutes. De Rooy tried to overtake Karginov, but even if Karginov finished on the sixth place, it was enough to his win in this year’s Dakar. De Rooy lost three minutes and 11 seconds and was on the second place. On the third place in the overall ranking was another Kamaz pilot Nikolajev. Kamaz occupied the fourth and fifth place too – there were Sotnikov and Šibalov. On the sixth place was after the Friday’s nearly three-hour loss Aleš Loprais and the Saturday’s triumph unfortunately changed nothing – the loss to Karginov was totally 5 hours and 4 minutes.
“I’ve never overtake as many participants as today! Due to yesterday’s stage and the technical problems we had the worst possible position to the start to the 13th stage. In dust we overtook more than 50 cars and trucks. We did it finally and we won the last stage. It was y seventh won stage of the Dakar. At Dakar, like on the Tour de France they register each won stage separately. Although we unfortunately could not affect the overall results, I wanted to do at least that. The 2014 Dakar was the hardest race I’ve ever been. We had only four stages without problems and we got to the podium in all of them. The remaining staged were indescribable suffering for me and the whole crew. But that’s the Dakar. The Queen 69 is relatively new Tatra and I wanted of her more than she was able to. But when everything worked there was no problem to defeat the rich teams like Kamaz of Iveco. We have the speed, but the problem is endurance of technique. It is directly proportional to the size of the team. We are the first purely private team without the factory support, which can occasionally mix things up. Kamaz team and especially Andery Karginov fully deserved the victory,” said Aleš Loprais after he finished the last stage.
Unfortunately it turned out that a single failure can well-shuffle the order. Were it not for the Friday’s losses, Aleš Loprais could fight until the finish for the statue of Bedouins who receive at the finish members of the first three crews. The attacked the third place for long time, but this is Dakar – does not forgive. Reward for the whole team may be the fact that both trucks are in the finished. Jan Tománek’s Tatar finished on the 18th place and it is among the five decades if trucks that arrived to Valparaiso a very good result. The same result can also boast the biker David Pabiška, for whom it was the best Dakar in his life.
Aleš ended his comment and the whole race: “I want to thank our whole team of mechanics who have been working hard the whole Dakar nonstop until The Queen with the Princess crossed the tape. The result is more than decent because of the fact, that it was the Dakar premiere for the Queen 69. Of course I’m not going to change my motto that the second racer is the first who lose and the fourth place is almost not reach the finish. We want more and I believe that have a great future with the Queen 69 and the technical data that we have acquired during this year’s Dakar. Thanks again to all team members, fans, family and last but not least to all partners without whom he could never complete this desert adventure.”
I have to mention a few sayings that crossed my mind in connection with our team and the Dakar: It doesn’t matter how many times you fall but how many times you can pick up. Who does not run, does not fall. End good, all good!
Look forward to our message, for example tomorrow about the results of a guessing competition and to the After Dakar Party on February 1 in Beskydy!