Dakar is getting tougher. While Martin Šoltys was helping stuck competitors in 2nd stage, just a day later his mechanic Tomáš Šikola pulled out a crew from a crashed truck. Meanwhile, Josef Macháček and Tomáš Enge hit more issues, this time with punctures. Ignacio Casale keeps improving with the truck.
Apart from the punctures, the Buggyra Zero Mileage Racing crews had a relatively easy-going day. Josef Macháček had to deal with the puncture right at the start, but then he continued at a fast pace.
“We had to do a tyre change right at the start, so we lost a lot of positions there. Then, we had to make our way through and lost some valuable time. At the end, we found ourselves among faster drivers, so nobody was throwing dusting at us and that was a nice drive. But I’m not happy with the result,” said Josef Macháček after finishing 7th in the stage. He is still 5th in the overall standings.
Tomáš Enge finally managed to finish a stage before the sunset. But once again, with problems.
“We punctured a tyre in one of the faster corners, but there were thousands of rocks like that today. Then, we had to change a CVT belt, which tore apart. But other than that, it was good. We were at the back, so we did a lot of overtaking. Our goal was primarily to finish today. And it looks like we’re finally heading in the right direction,” said Tomáš Enge, who finished in 12th place.
So, it was Ignacio Casale who took the best result in the Truck category today. He added another TOP 10 finish, as he was classified 9th in the 3rd stage of Dakar Rally 2021.
“Today’s stage was very fast and some of the dunes were really rough. I and Alvaro had to look for a different route several times, to avoid the dunes. Then, we had a small issue with turbo and lost some time, but other than that, everything worked perfectly. It was difficult, so I’m glad that we’ve made it to the end. Most of the Dakar is still ahead of us,” said the currently 7th best driver in the overall standings.
Martin Šoltys’ crew did another rescue operation, as a mechanic Tomáš Šikola pulled out a crew from a flipped over Hino. Luckily, there were no injuries in the accident.
“Today, I’m just glad to cross the finish line. We got stuck on 150th kilometre and then there was an issue with a bellow air bag. We got pulled by a Scania, which flipped over just two kilometres later, and got hit by a car. That didn’t look good. Then we saw a Hino, which also ended on the roof. Their wheels were still moving. Tomáš jumped off the truck right away and went to pull them out. At the end, we saw another broken car. It really wasn’t a pleasant view today, so that’s another reason why I was looking forward to finishing this stage,” said Martin Šoltys, who is currently 9th in the overall standings after the 3rd stage.
On Wednesday, the crews will face a 476-kilometre-long connection and then 337 kilometres of a timed stage. It comes as no surprise, that it is the longest stage overall of the event. The organisers promise a technical stage.