Dakar Classic is all about regularity races and navigational stages, so it would seem that what car you choose and how well you drive it won’t matter so much. But… this year proved the opposite and was one of the most difficult ever.
It’s already finished, we know the complete results. But is there anything to celebrate? There are far from no medals for the Czech colors in the Classic, but this does not mean that this year’s Dakar does not have a moral winner. And he is our Czech fighter.
The Dakar Classic was won by the Spanish crew of Carlos Santaolalla Milla/Jan Rosa in a Toyota Land Cruiser HDJ80. The second place was taken by drivers from Italy, namely Lorenzo Traglio/Rudy Briani, riding a Nissan Pathfinder. Third place was also taken by the representatives of the land of pizza and pasta, namely Paolo Bedeschi/Daniele Bottallo in a Toyota BJ71.
From the Czech colors, Ondřej Klymčiw and Josef Brož took the best place, taking overall 24th place with their Škoda 130 LR, although in the eighth stage it looked like they were going to take home the gold, but the electrical installation and the reduction valve betrayed them. But that’s Dakar.
However, Klymčiw was riding for a good cause, where during the entire race he collected money for the Paraple Center, which helps people with damaged spines. Each stage had its own sponsor, while the collection is not over yet and is still active, so you can contribute directly HERE. Thus, despite the fact that Klymčiw finished “up” in 24th place, he leaves the Dakar together with Škoda as at least a moral winner.
In addition, Klymchiw aired a unique film Dakar changed me, which shows this race and himself in a completely different light. The film had its public premiere yesterday, and it HERE in our garage.
The Holická/Engová girls in a painted Citroën 2CV finally (despite the expectations of some) finished in 63rd place, however, they will probably remember for the rest of their lives what a shovel, sand and how difficult it is to drive through the Saudi desert with an underpowered front wheel.
The beautiful 56th place was occupied by the last Czech pair starting at the Dakar Classic 2024, namely Jan Vinš/Tomáš Hovorka, who sweated quite a lot during the service, and, like Klymčiwa, the technique of their Mitsubishi Pajero pissed them off, because of which they lost the promising 20th position. However, they managed the challenging race in the end.
Dakar through the eyes of Czech crews
We connected with our Czech crews and obtained from them an exclusive statement and assessment of the Dakar Classic 2024. So read how our representatives describe this year’s edition.
The Garáž.cz–Klymčiw direct line worked, which is why Ondra gave us an open evaluation of Classic 2024.
“Dakar Classic has moved forward by leaps and bounds in four years, which I am happy about. Some stages were too difficult, there was a lot of soft sand, stones, it was really a massacre. It’s definitely not something people can laugh at anymore.”
“We went to Dakar with the aim of supporting the Paraple Center, which I hope succeeded and made a lot of people very happy. I think it would be nice if there were more such projects.”
“We did unexpectedly well in the races, we didn’t expect to be in the top ten and suddenly we were in 1st or 2nd place overall. But then it started pouring, things on our car were coming off… There’s some electrical crap, plus there were mechanical things.”
“The Škoda is tired, I couldn’t even open the door when getting out because of how crossed the car is. In the morning, of course, I wiped away a tear, because the Škoda went on its last stage at the Dakar and has taught me a lot over the years. I will never sell the car because it belongs to me and I to him.”
“I don’t regret anything, everything worked out and I believe that I also gave my children something in life. That one day they will also do a great good deed.’
The Czech girl duo became an attraction of the Dakar Classic, if only because of their non-traditional and almost serial means of transport with creative painting by the artist Josef Rataj. The evaluation was delivered directly to us by pilot Bára Holická and supplemented by navigator Lucie Engová.
“It’s just a bomb, we’re still recovering from it, from all those experiences. It’s beautiful, we are the fifteenth Duck to start the Dakar and finish it for the first time in history. And that was our goal!”
“Where it was possible, we drove at a racing pace, but somewhere it was not possible. However, we didn’t miss a single stage, we didn’t go around anything, we tried to get into everything and conquer everything. We wanted to enjoy it, and we also worked hard for it, we were organized, we commuted in the dark, the last few times. Once at a gas station, we even had to wake up the guys to fill us up.”
“We are adequately happy about it, we did it for ourselves and the community of “Ducks”, which drove us forward. We owe the fact that the Duck finished, however, to the mechanic Tomáš Neruda, who left a year of his work on it. We didn’t hurt the bike or the shock absorber, the engine pedals like clockwork…”
“We want to thank the fans and partners. It is again something different from the classic rally that we drive. I hope that this is not the last time we will be at the Dakar, that we will be able to finance it for next year as well.”
Tomáš Hovorka spoke directly to us on behalf of the third Czech crew, who commented on the participation of the Enjoy Motorsport team as follows.
“The Enjoy Motorsport team set themselves the goal of enjoying the Dakar Classic, and they certainly succeeded. The second goal was to get the car to the finish ramp, and we managed to achieve that as well. The first half of the race went beyond our expectations, and we were surprised that as complete novices we could run the results around 20th place absolutely.”
“Unfortunately, in the second half, we stopped doing well, the Pajero suffered a few serious wounds and due to the fact that we were driving without a service facility, with only the parts we had in the vehicle, it was difficult for us to keep the vehicle in such a condition that it could give 100 percent performance on the track.”
“However, we didn’t give up and drove the second half at a more relaxed pace and saved the car, which cost us many positions on the scoreboard. But the reward was that we could drive the entire track under our own power.”
So this was the Dakar Classic 2024 with a more detailed view of the Czech crews. Before the racing euphoria wears off, we’ll take a closer look at some of the themes that arose during the Dakar for veterans. For example, we will look at why the Spaniards wrote a petition against Klymchiv and why no one helped him in one fall. Anyway, congrats to our crews and a “you’re awesome and thank you” message!