It's Over! The 42nd edition of the world's most prestigious rally reached the finish line and the complete line-up of four North Bohemian Renaults from the MKR Technology team reached the finish as well. At the start line, there was a quartet of trucks, which can start celebrating in the finish at Qiddiya. Although this time they failed to get the desired stage podium, it was not their goal with new technology. So in the end the Czech-Dutch formation has a reason to celebrate. MRK Technology is the first in the world to build a hybrid truck in Dakar, but also made it to the finish line.
"I am very happy. We wanted to complete the Dakar in the complete formation, and we did. Yes, stage podium or a podium in the overall ranking would be a success of course, but everything takes its time. Competition is damn great and going against the Russian army of Kamaz truck sis very hard, but this year we had different plans. Luck is always the decisive factor. After all, there were a number of those who had been in high positions for a long time, but then a single failure was enough and suddenly a solid result was gone. Every crew had to deal with technical issues. There are simply things that are very difficult to prevent. Thanks to that we lost a chance to fight for a solid overall position, but on the other hand it great that we managed fight it and finished the race in full line-up. Thanks for that and i this is a big compliment,” Mario Kress, head of the MKR Technology design team, looked back at the finish of the Dakar Rally.
The final stage might well be a little icing on the cake, but there is nothing for free on Dakar. The four hundred and thirty-kilometer-long route from Haradha to Qiddiye were waiting for the crews. The last timed stage was less than a hundred and seventy kilometers. “The boys were already taking it easy. The cards were dealt, so they enjoyed the ride and have not pressured at all. The night service before the last stage showed us how badly the cars were broken down after this year's Dakar and the technicians have not had the sleep to put them together. Even so, Gert Huzink can be called very lucky, as the gearbox broke at the very last moment, so we were towing him to the finish ramp on the rope,” Mario Kress with a fear in his voice.
The final stage was won by the Russian pilot Kamaz Andrei Karginov, who only amplified his overall win. Martin van den Brink was classified as the best driver of the North Bohemian truck in the last race test. The Dutch driver of the Mammoet Rallysport team finished eighth with a loss of four minutes. His three colleagues were fine on the border of the second decade.
Karginov was the best rider of this year, he was ahead of his compatriot Shibalov by almost three quarters of an hour. Third Belarus Viazovich has lost more than two hours. The final result is certainly a big result of Richard de Groot from Firemen Dakar, who brought the North Bohemian special truck to the finish on 13th place. Martin van den Brink and Gert Huzink finished in the third decade, and Pascal de Baar successfully finished the mini-Dakar. “This is the first time we have reached the finish line with all the trucks with which we started the race. It is a historical moment for us, apart from the fact that our hybrid had a great and especially great premiere. We are satisfied, we have something to build on,” concluded Mario Kress.