DAKAR 2015 started, the Africa Eco Race 2015 in full swing

6 January, 2015

The beginning of a new year is traditionally devoted to long-distance races, regularly attended by special racing TATRA trucks. Six Tatra trucks in total participate in this year's Dakar and one Tatra truck represents the truck maker in the African Rally.

DAKAR 2015 started on January 4 in Buenos Aires and 6 Tatra trucks will appear among 63 trucks in total at the start of this famous race, which takes place the 37th year, out of which for the seventh time in South America. Bearing the start number 506, Martin Kolomý represents the TATRA BUGGYRA RACING team, which is officially supported by TATRA TRUCKS Company. Start numbers 515, 517 and 539 belong to pilots from the BONVER DAKAR PROJECT team - Arthur Ardavičus, Tomáš Vrátný and John Szustkowski, while number 536 was assigned to TATRA PHOENIX of the Dutch team pilot Gert Huzink, and number 563 to the Slovak crew with pilot Robert Kasák.

The trucks of Czech crews whose lives we will continuously monitor, have passed scrutineering without problems. The special racing truck TATRA BUGGYRA RACING, which is based on series-production model T815 4x4 with short cab, is equipped with 12.5-liter engine GYRTECH Rally Power MK14-3EC, with the power output 900 hp and torque 3,800 Nm. The vehicle uses a modified 16-speed ZF/GYRTECH 2014 air-assisted manual gearbox and the TATRA drop-box. Independent half-axles are suspended with the air bellows and REIGER shock absorbers. The curb weight is 8,500 kg with distribution of 50:50 to the front and rear axles. During this year's race, several components are being tested on the vehicle for the series production vehicles, which will subsequently be implemented into the TATRA PHOENIX series. The top speed is electronically limited to 150 km/hr.

The racing specials of the BONVER DAKAR Team are based on the T163 Tatra Jamal model, whose serial production was terminated in 2014 due to the needs of production efficiency. However, the riders from BONVER DAKAR PROJECT have taken a liking to 4x4 bonneted racing trucks and for DAKAR 2015 they equipped them with Renault MKR units of power output1050 hp and torque 4,000 Nm. The curb weight of these specials is also 8,500 kg.

Everyone enjoyed Saturday's "on podium" race opening ceremony and on Sunday they set up for the first stage out of 14 in total. The entire first stage was very fast on a hard surface and it became clear in individual waypoints that seconds will be decisive. The best Tatra truck from the TATRA BUGGYRA RACING team was in the fourth place, after the exciting situation when Martin Kolomý struggled the whole stage with Ales Loprais for third place. However, Loprais finished the first stage third with the same finishing time 1:31:30. The Tatra trucks from the BONVER DAKAR Project team finished in the opening stage on the 13th (Ardavičus), 21st (Vrátný) and 37th positions (Szustkovski). Dutchman Huzink´s Tatra Phoenix occupied the 32nd place and Kasák´s Tatra then occupied the 45the place.

For more current information visit the website www.dakar.com, www.buggyra.com, www.bonverdakarproject.com, or view NOVA Sport, ČT4 or Eurosport.

The Africa Eco Race is a race that takes place in the footsteps of the "original" Dakar Rally, i.e. through Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal. It started on December 28, 2014 by scrutineering in Saint-Cyprien, France and the first stage began on Dec 30 in Moroccan Nador. In Africa the TATRA brand is represented by Tomáš Tomeček, who runs this year in the main sponsors' colours - Excalibur Group and Promet Group. His racing truck TATRA 815-2T0R45 4x4.1 VK is, as its pilot says, 100% Tatra, as it is fully equipped with standard units used by the mass production – 12-cylinder air-cooled TATRA engine of 19 liters, 2x turbocharger and 20-speed TATRA 14TS 210L transmission. The front axles are suspended with air bellows with the ATESO shock absorbers The maximum vehicle speed is 155 km/h.

After the fifth stage, Tomeček's Tatra is on the ongoing 2nd place, with the following finishing positions in each stage: Stage 1 - 2nd place, Stage 2 - 2nd place, Stage 3 - 3rd place, Stage 4 - 2nd place, Stage 5 - 4th place. The total number of trucks rose to eighth compared to the previous years.

For ongoing information check the website www.tomastomecek.cz and www.africarace.com, as well as Eurosport 2.

We keep our fingers crossed for all crews with TATRA racing specials and wish you a successful start in the races and the New Year!