If you want some motorsport advice, ask Klymchiv. If you want to leave Dakar in a completely inappropriate car, ask Klymchiv. And this is how we could continue the list of experiences of this East Bohemian pilot.
Ondra became popular with two events as part of the Dakar. First at the Dakar as a motorcyclist, he almost died as a result of a fall, and he took a Škoda car to the then-reborn branch of the Dakar Classic.
It was a big revelation, after all, we brought you the whole story of the car from its first phase through the second to the current state, but for the 2024 model year, Klymčiw announced a major news: “Skodak is going for the last time, it’s going for a good cause.” In response, we They sent Ondrou to his homeland and interviewed the experienced pilot over a cup of tea.
Rumor has it that you are also going to the Dakar for the very last time, is that true?
I rather leave it open. This Škoda is going for the last time, but I myself don’t know what will happen next and what I should go with next. I’m already going to the tenth Dakar, the eighth of which is a race, so I think it’s time for a change. I think it’s normal to make changes in life. But we’ll see each other in time.
You are doing a charity Dakar in cooperation with the Paraple Centre, why them?
It’s a logical outcome of all this, because the Skoda Škoda has helped me a lot and made a lot of people happy, so I think it should do the best it can in the last Dakar.
The Paraple Center itself has been caring for people with spinal injuries since 1994, and I suffered four crushed vertebrae in my motorcycle accident, so I got a taste of that too. I was lucky to break it, but many others were not so lucky in their health. That’s why Umbrella.
What does Skoda symbolize with its new design?
There are Škoda colors from all three years of the Dakar Classic, while children from Zdechovice Elementary School, where mine also attend, participated in this final. The design is about love, friendship, health, dreams, nature and carries the message of helping those in need. At the planned benefit evening after the Dakar, I will also auction my helmet and the proceeds will go to this school so that the children can go on a trip somewhere. I want to show them that when you do good, good comes back.
You had a short time for technical preparation, how is the car and do you trust it?
The car took about five weeks to prepare, but on the other hand, I believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Mechanic Petr Dokonal and I will do everything to ensure that the car sees its destination. In other words, not only the Dakar kilometers driven, but also the written premiums for placement mean more money for the Paraple Center.
Where can you donate to this charity project?
There will be a Dakar section right on the Paraple Center website where people can contribute. There will also be certain milestones, for example, when a certain amount is raised, I will complete various tasks, for example, I will dye my hair red, I will not speak for a day, or I will release my film Dakar changed me, which only about a thousand people have seen so far.
(We were among them and the picture is worth it…)
At the Dakar, when they wave you off, will you drive a chainsaw? Do you know yourself…
Making a resolution is one thing, but when they actually give it to you (start), that’s another thing. But I have a huge responsibility for this project, so testosterone will go by the wayside. I’ll have to use more of my brain instead of my heart.
What will happen to the Škoda 130 LR after the Dakar?
There are more possibilities, however, in three years of racing, no museum has shown interest in exhibiting this car even for a month. On the other hand, I am not even opposed to an offer for a collector to buy the car. But it would have to be someone who appreciates the fact that it is the only Škoda in the world that has gone to the Dakar. The third option is that I put the car in a pile, store it under a tarp, and when my children grow up, maybe the car will start again. So it’s open for now.
Isn’t it a shame that this project is ending?
At best it should stop. I will end up with the best because this project will help someone else. It sounds like I’m joining a cult, but I think it’s important. I will be able to walk away in the middle, with my head held high, thanking the fans and sponsors. I am glad that it will be so and I hope to be an inspiration to others.
And he’s actually right, Ondra, that finishing in the best is perhaps the best thing he can do. What would a Škoda be interested in at the Dakar, if it started for the tenth time? It would probably fit in with the gray Toyotas and other worn-out veterans. On the other hand, it is the only Škoda car that actually drove the Dakar, so it is at least an interesting opportunity for museums or collectors. Dakar 2024 starts in a moment, so we will follow Klymčiw’s progress and let you know how this Czech pilot is doing in the demanding event.