If today were April 1, you probably wouldn’t believe this news, but the date is different and the facts are clear – the crew of the Czech Samurais team consisting of Ondřej Martinec / Olga Roučková is staying at home and with them their modified Toyota Land Cruiser.

Photo: Czech Samurais

Pilot Ondřej Martinec underwent heart surgery and must rest. The Dakar was thus over for him before it began.

The decision came at the last minute and was announced to the public on the team’s Facebook page. The reason is really serious, as the pilot Ondřej Martinec had to undergo heart surgery at IKEM in Prague, so now he has to concentrate on full recovery, and not on the demanding Dakar race.

The team agreed that health and life always come first, which was supported by navigator Roučková and hundreds of team fans. So we will not see the newly painted Toyota in the Classic category in 2024, however, under the patronage of the Samurai, the girls’ crew Holická/Engová will compete in the Classic 2024 in a painted Citroën 2CV.

Photo: Jiří Vorlíček for Duckar

Therefore, only the colorful duck will start under the banner of the Samurai.

In addition to the duck duo, the Vinš/Hovorka crew in the Mitsubishi Pajero and Ondřej Klymčiw with his mechanic in the iconic Škoda 130 LR will fight for the best position among the historic cars.

If you don’t already know, the Dakar-based Škoda is going for the last time in 2024 and fully for a good cause. In addition, the car appears in a new design, which is the responsibility of the children from ZŠ Chovice. Isn’t he cute?

Photo: Škoda at the Dakar

The Škoda 130 LR was given a new design by children from ZŠ Chovice.

Fighters such as Prokop, Loprais, Brabec or even Macík will then appear in the main categories of the competition, so both the traditional Dakar and the Dakar Classic will definitely be worth it.

Anyway, we keep our fingers crossed and send support to Ondřej from Samurai. We hope he recovers soon so he can resume his daily life as well as racing.