The fight is over! After two exhausting weeks the 39th Dakar Rally have reached its end. Also the two MKR Technology trucks have arrived at the finish in Buenos Aires. Despite the somewhat mixed feelings of the team from the north of the Czech Republic, with de Baar’s crew having lost their position in the elite five after the previous unlucky day, everyone deserves a great deal of appreciation. Fatigue and exhaustion were beyond belief, but everyone was fighting hard until the very last moment. Although the situation was often hopeless, nobody gave up. The Dakar is about heroes and their heroic performances and these were not to be missed in the case of MKR.
“Well, we’ll probably have to wait a little longer for a major success. We don’t need to feel ashamed, we won two stages, added a bronze position and were in the lead of the overall ranking. We recorded six results in the top ten and up until the penultimate stage it looked like we could score fifth rank overall. Looking at it from this point of view, we can’t be talking about a fiasco, we just didn’t have enough luck. We won’t be leaving in high spirits, but we can definitely hold our heads up high. I’m happy how we managed to overcome all the obstacles here. Even if we were on the verge of despair and there was no more power left, we continued relentlessly. The desire to complete the race led us to the finish, which was our ultimate goal – making it to Buenos Aires,” evaluates Mario Kress, MKR Technology’s chief constructor, the whole race.
The last stage from Río Cuarto to Buenos Aires was basically a transport one. The special stretched over a symbolic 64 kilometres and the organizers made up the starting field not based on the results of the preceding stage, but according to the overall ranking. Pilots of the Czech Renaults Pascal de Baar and Martin van den Brink were happy to be even starting this time, following the huge technical trouble that befell both of the specials on Friday the 13th, hell of a bad luck! Eventually, with a major loss they arrived at the bivouac, where the mechanics team mobilized their strength one last time to prepare the trucks for the final stage. The pilots gave respectable performances in the last stage, as van den Brink recorded fifteenth fastest time and de Baar twentieth. The stage was dominated by the winner of the 39th Dakar, the Russian Eduard Nikolaev on a Kamaz.
Nikolaev celebrates an overall win for a second time after four years.I In the overall ranking the crew of truck number 501 including Pascal de Baar, Martin Roesink and Wouter de Graaff finished on 20th place, while their team mates from Mammoet Rallysport on truck number 506 Martin van den Brink, Daniel Kozlovský and Marcel Blankestijn are on 34th position. The handicapped Andorran pilot Albert Llovera from the Czech Bonver Dakar Project, for whom MKR Technology constructed a racing power train, occupies 24th rank. “The Dakar is almost over. It didn’t end the way we wished for but we have to take the best out of it to become even better. I know we have what it takes and I believe that one day when everything comes together, it’s gonna be amazing,” hopes Mario Kress, author of the MKR Adventure project, for a brighter future.