Martin Macík Jr. and his navigator František Tomášek aim to improve their tenth place in the previous Dakar event in the category of trucks. His improved LIAZ "special" is powered by a new engine based on an Iveco design. Olga Roučková will be another great Czech whit hope. The first ever European champion in the FIM Europe Baja series in the quad bike category, she will be the first Czech woman to compete in the Dakar Rally on a quad.
In addition to quads and motorbikes, for the first time ever the BARTH Racing team has sent a competition car to Dakar Rally 2018. The experienced contestants in the colours of BARTH Racing include Josef Macháček, five times winner of the Dakar Rally in the quad bike category, and the motorcyclist David Pabiška, who has always crossed the finish line in Dakar so far. Behind the wheel of the competition car Ford F-150 will be a crew consisting of the experienced autocross driver Boris Vaculík and Martin Plechatý. The line-up of the BARTH Racing team is completed by Rudolf Lhotský in the motorcycle category and Zdeněk Tůma with a quad bike.
"We are very pleased that we can support Czech competitors at the legendary Dakar Rally," says Petr Kalach, head of marketing at the company Paramo, manufacturer of Mogul engine oils in the Unipetrol group. "The most demanding competition in the world puts crews and their equipment through the toughest tests. As a result, the seven Czech competitors, supported by the company Paramo, are relying on Mogul engine oils, which by virtue of their properties are perfectly prepared for tough conditions of the Dakar Rally, including many measured sections in sand dunes, and cracked pistons."
This year the Dakar Rally is celebrating two important anniversaries. The 40th anniversary of the most famous long-distance race is also the 10th anniversary of its route running over the varied terrain of South America. During the race the competitors will have to deal with sand dunes as well as persistent rain, mud and a mountain environment. The first stage of the Dakar Rally 2018 starts on Saturday 6 January in Lima, the capital of Peru. The competitors will have two weeks to cover almost 9000 kilometres. They will be expected at the finish line in the Argentinian city of Córdoba on Saturday 20 January. The length of the route differs depending on category. The longest one is for cars (8793 km), and the shortest is for motorcycles and quad bikes (8276 km). A route of 8710 km has been prepared for trucks. 337 crews consisting of 525 members, 36 of them Czechs, are participating in The Dakar Rally 2018.