Brno – Sunday, July 23: The crew of South Racing Central Europe, Tomas Ourednicek and his co-driver for the Spanish round of the World Cup, Mila Janacek brought the Ford Ranger Dakar home in the 15th position overall despite having a weekend packed with difficulties.
Baja Aragon has never been easy for Tomas Ourednicek, and this year he once again had his share of problems in the Teruel race, where he started together with Mila Janacek since co-driver David Kripal being unable to race in the event due to an injury. After taking a cautious approach on Friday to be able to get used to working together with Mila, Tomas started well in the first long special, clocking the 10th best time at CP2.
Unfortunately, after that he seemed to have run out of luck: first he got stuck in the dust of the competitor in front of him, then, short before the finish, he also got a puncture. The second special started well for the crew, they were on attack in the first part of the track but then they lost engine power and thus also speed. After Saturday, they occupied the 19th position in the overall standings. On Sunday, unfortunately, the problem persisted, but still they were able to not only finish the rally, but also to score a 15th place in a field full of Dakar’s top drivers and more than a dozen FIA priority drivers including Nasser Al-Attiyah, Mikko Hirvonen or Nani Roma.
“Baja Aragon has always been regarded as one of the most prestigious and toughest races on the World Cup calendar, and this year it was once again lived up to its fame. Since due to the injury of my co-driver David Kripal I had to start with another co-driver, we knew we couldn’t have too high expectations.
I would like to say thanks to Mila Janacek for accepting the challenge and take on co-driver’s duty in this rally. We have never made a single metre together before we arrived here, so we needed some time to get used to each others style, but he did a great job throughout the weekend!
Unfortunately, we had a puncture in the first long special and engine problems in the other two, so we weren’t able to attack in the way we wanted. Altogether, this was not the race of our dreams but we are proud of our split times in Saturday’s specials and of not making any major mistakes – the many crashes show how tricky the tracks was. Now the task is to find the cause of the engine problem and get the Ranger ready for the next part of our preparation for Dakar 2018” Tomas Ourednicek said after the finish of the rally.