Africa Eco Race 2015 – the 3rd place for uncompromising TATRA

16 January, 2015

While this year's South American "Dakar" is now slightly behind its half, the African one, which takes place under the name AFRICA ECO RACE, finished this weekend. The crew of the EXCALIBUR/PROMET team, consisting of Tomáš Tomeček and Ladislav Lalo occupied the beautiful third place.

The "Uncompromising TATRA", as Tomáš Tomeček proudly refers to his special racing truck, faced a major challenge this year was - the factory team of two KAMAZ trucks and 30-member staff. In the final standings they took the first and second place in the truck category, but Tomeček's TATRA was a very good and brave opponent to them, especially when Tomeček won the ninth stage and scored a few runner-up positions in the stages.

Tomáš Tomeček commented this race's year as follows: "Eleven challenging stages confirmed that despite budgetary constraints the TATRA design concept can keep up even with the top racing teams such as the Russian Kamaz. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to compare with the competition, because it gives me motivation to push the limits of our technology and ultimately accelerate, of course. I have several ideas on how we could improve." Tomeček's navigator Lala summarizes his feelings of Africa Race 2015 as follows: "I'm glad I was able to attend this year alongside Tomáš. Despite the problems in two stages, we perhaps did not drive that bad. We managed to win one stage and despite the fact that we rode as the only crew of two, we have long fought for the top positions." Tomeček fought even for the second place for a long time, but he failed due to problems in the dunes in the eighth stage, when both wheels on the right side unfortunately blew off at the exit from the dunes, which resulted in complicated wedging, inflating and finally even getting stuck. Suddenly staying three hours behind the winner, both first places got taken away, nonetheless enough time left towards the other participants, which helped to defend the third place.

Tomáš Tomeček's PROMET/EXCALIBUR team provided the organizers of Africa Eco Race 2015 with the service of two "bailé" trucks, without which the race logistics would become much more complicated. Petr Foltýn and Petr Kostelník at the wheels of two Tatras rescued from rough terrain the crews of cars and motorcyclists including their machines 24/7, or just carried the fuel for helicopters. When the things went worst, then Tatra managed to stand on its wheels and saved hopelessly overturned truck it in the middle of the toughest dune field. The contribution of bailé truck crews was also highlighted during the final briefing by René Metge, rally sports director. Mechanics Jaroslav Žerdík and Leopold Paďour, who cared for all four Tatras, also delivered great job throughout the race. Without their dedication and skills the race would be much more complicated for the whole team.

Results of AFRICA ECO RACE – Category of Trucks

Starting no.
401 SHIBALOV A. 41:02:18 KAMAZ
404 KUPRIANOV S. 42:23:49 KAMAZ
400 TOMEČEK T. 45:23:44 TATRA
JACINTO E. 59:04:22 MAN
402 KOVACS M. 100:59:12 SCANIA