The famous Dakar 2024 race will be held in Saudi Arabia for the fifth time, but the organizers promise 60% new tracks for the upcoming year, which will give newcomers a chance to stand out. The start of the race will already be on January 5 in the city of AlUla, while the end will be on January 19 in Yanbu.
You certainly know that the Holická/Engová duo is going to this event in an old Citroën 2CV, which is at least brave, but the girls believe in themselves, as Barbora Holická herself stated in our interview. In the same category, which Ondra Klymčiw in Škoda 130 LR made especially attractive for the Czech audience, another female name appears, namely Olga Roučková. You may remember her as the first ever woman from the Czech Republic to cross the finish line of the Dakar Rally (2018).
Olga (2023: 52nd place overall, 3rd place in the “less powerful cars” H0 category) is from the Czech Samurais team, where you can also find the Novobydžov matador Ondřej Martinec, who in this year’s Dakar Rally finished in 37th place in the classic category , however, even that was enough for him to be named together with navigator Gabriel Žúbor as the best Czech in his group.
For the year 2024, Martinec and Roučková will join forces, with Ondra taking the wheel and Olga taking on the role of navigator. Their partner will be the classic Toyota Land Cruiser 90, but not just any.
The vehicle in question competed in the lesser-known Intercontinental Rally, but was saved from scrapping by the team and painstakingly revived. The model is rather moderate, Samurais stick to the original classic lines of the car.
Under the hood of this historian is a 3.4-liter gasoline six-cylinder with 230 horsepower connected to a manual transmission, additionally equipped with double cooling. The chassis was modified for the company, and the interior was equipped with homologated FIA parts (frame, seats, fire extinguishing system, etc.), which are needed for participation in the Dakar. In addition, the team will go to Dakar 2024 with a new design of this racing car, which you can see on the team’s civilian Land Cruiser.
An interesting fact is that the car was prepared in cooperation with SŠŘ Nový Bydžov and as part of the Mechanic Academy project, which educates young hopefuls. Yes, you guessed right, a selected (gifted) student of this school will watch Dakar 2024 and contribute.
On the one hand, the student will become part of the team management, participate in the preparation of the team cars and learn to collect data from the vehicles, but also deal with maintenance, service, team operation and logistics directly at Dakar in Saudi Arabia. All this in earnest, even after previous preparations.
The upcoming Dakar 2024 will be at least interesting from the point of view of our colors, because we will be able to cheer not only on the crazy French Ducks with a purely Czech girl crew, but also on the Czech samurai in the old “Landák”. We will also see other icons such as truck driver Macík, ford driver Prokop or photographer Chytka, while ex-motorcycle driver Klymčiw has also indicated his participation. So, will you be rooting for us?