Team duel in the dunes: Aliyyah Koloc chases de Baar

Despite early technical issues in the event, the Buggyra ZM Racing racer has already advanced to 29th in the overall standings. Tatra Buggyra ZM Racing drivers continue to compete outside the overall standings but are still fighting for stage positions. Pascal de Baar in the Tatra Buggyra EVO3 was seventh today. Jaroslav Valtr in the Tatra Phoenix finished 22nd, and Daniel Stiblík in the second Phoenix was classified two places behind him.

Aliyyah Koloc enjoyed today’s stage. She wasn’t bothered by the long transition in the middle of the stage. „The first part was in the dunes. I liked the fast sections. We were struggling with top speed, so quite soon, a lot of cars overtook us. But then we overtook a few of them in the dunes again. The second part was more on rocks, which I didn’t enjoy at all. With 15 kilometres to go, we had a puncture. I still have to learn how to ride on rocks, but we also helped an overturned buggy,“ the pilot remarked.

At only 19 years old, the racer started behind the trucks today, so she „enjoyed“ a lot of dust. „Starting behind trucks is definitely not easy. You have to pick up speed, or you’ll get stuck behind them. So sometimes we got stuck in the sand and had to turn around. Then we overtook trucks on the transfer because they had a longer wait than us to start.“

One of the trucks she encountered in the dunes was Pascal de Baar’s. It turned into quite a teammate battle: „Pascal and I were together for a while. I caught up with him, then he overtook me, and then I him again. We rode together for the last 15 to 20 kilometres at the neutralization.“

Pascal de Baar was thrilled to be able to ride in his beloved dunes again. „The first part was 100% dunes, which I love. The heavy dunes were amazing. They were steep; we were climbing up and chasing Vic Versteijnen. Aliyyah and I rode about twenty kilometres over the dunes, which was incredible. After 200 kilometers of neutralization, we faced a fast rocky track. We got a flat there, and there were some complications with the brakes. We need to figure out what the problem was,“ said the Dutchman.

Jaroslav Valtr’s Tatra lay on its side in the sand today, yet its pilot was enthusiastic about today’s stage. „It was an amazing stage; I enjoyed it immensely, except for the rollover. We were crossing a dune, and the car got stuck with the right front wheel in the deep sand. It stood on its nose and then tipped over. The Tatra, quite illogically, fell on its left side. It usually tips to the side it’s leaning towards, but this time it went the other way. Otherwise, we were able to move quite fast in the dunes. We had already fixed the breakdown at night. Renda (Kilián) must have navigated brilliantly because we couldn’t see any tracks at all, so he was really hitting the distances accurately,“ the experienced driver commented.”

Daniel Stiblík and his crew completed two stages practically non-stop, but the end of today’s stage considerably improved his mood. „It was such a long combined stage. We did an eight- to forty-hour stage. We came back from yesterday’s stage this morning, only did basic service, and then continued to the remaining four stages. Today, we only had rear-wheel drive because we had just one semi-axle. We were afraid to turn it on, in case the other one broke if we landed too hard somewhere. But we managed it. The Tatra had a breaker in the second half, where we flew and overtook a couple of trucks. That improved my mood,“ the Phoenix pilot explained.

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