|Pascal de Baar, in the Tatra Buggyra EVO3, clinched fifth place, while Jaroslav Valtr in the Tatra Phoenix took seventh. Daniel Stiblík, driving the second Phoenix, finished 24th, with all three drivers competing vigorously outside the absolute standings. Aliyyah Koloc began the day with the relief that the organizers had removed her previously imposed 15-minute penalty. The Buggyra ZM Racing driver, in the RedLined Revo T1+, completed the stage in 31st place, moving up to 25th in the elite car class overall standings.
Aliyyah Koloc expressed her enjoyment of the day’s stage. “The first part was rocky with some significant jumps, leading to a puncture. I rode cautiously afterwards to avoid another puncture. The post-neutralization phase was fast, weaving through canyons, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Finishing early allows me more time to prepare for tomorrow’s stage, anticipated to be one of this year’s toughest,” she reflected.
Jaroslav Valtr, aiding his son Jaroslav Jr.’s crew on the track, expressed concerns about the challenging conditions. “The dust was overwhelming, creating a practically impassable ‘train’ of vehicles. Overtaking was nearly impossible. We assisted Ales Loprais with a tire puncture, which was a challenging task in itself. Eventually, we managed, but then Pascal overtook us during this process. Later, we also had a puncture to deal with,” shared the seasoned racer.
Pascal de Baar commented on the physical toll of the rally. “As the days progress, fatigue sets in, making recovery more difficult. Despite starting from the sixth position, I was aware of my speed advantage over Jarda Valtr due to our recent turbo issues,” said the Dutch driver.
Tomáš Šikola, de Baar’s onboard mechanic, was satisfied with the stage’s outcome. “It was a swift and agile stage, with an average speed of over 100 km/h. Our only issue today was a broken window,” he remarked.
Daniel Stiblik encountered navigational difficulties in the latest stage. “The day started off well, and initially, we had a good pace, even managing to overtake several cars despite the heavy dust. This momentum carried us until around the 70th kilometer, where we unfortunately broke our window. The real issue arose around the 250th kilometer, where we made a navigational error. Initially, we thought we had missed only one point, but it turned out to be three. As a result, we received a significant penalty, which was quite disheartening.”