Same determination, new chapter for Ourednicek and Kripal
Tomas Ourednicek is preparing for his 7th Dakar, and the third together with his co-driver David Kripal. As the Dakar Rally opens a new chapter with moving to Saudi Arabia, Ourednicek and Kripal have also opted for a big change: after spending the past seasons under the umbrella of the international South Racing squad, they are to tackle the 42nd edition of Dakar Rally under the (old-) new team name Ultimate Dakar.
Tomas Ourednicek joined the Dakar family in 2009, when the rally moved from Africa to the South American continent. Now the Dakar is moving to a new continent again, and Ourednicek is also facing major changes in his project.
“I have to say, this has been the most difficult Dakar preparation for me ever. This is the first time that we have to solve everything on our own, and that has been a constant fight in the past weeks. After three successful years together, we have opted for quitting South Racing team and continue racing under our old team name Ultimate Dakar. We made this decision because South Racing is now focusing on the SSV, a category they have already won two times in the Dakar Rally. We are very grateful to Scott Abraham for the opportunity and to all our friends in the team for their work in the past three seasons.
Now, when the Dakar Rally is opening a new chapter, we are also taking on a brand new challenge, and we are very excited to take part in the first Saudi edition of the Dakar with an all-Czech team. I can’t wait for the start!” Tomas Ourednicek says.
“With the new location and the new navigation rules, this Dakar is going to be a jump to the unknown. The effort of the organiser to make the competition fairer and more levelled is very promising, I hope that we can take advantage of the changes. I am looking forward to the race already,” co-driver David Kripal added.
The 2020 edition of Dakar Rally will start from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia on 5th January. After almost two weeks of racing, including a rest day in the capital Riyadh, the competitors can celebrate their success in Al Qiddiyah on 17 January.
About the team
Racing career of Tomas Ourednicek started back in 2008 when he became the co-driver of Miroslav Zapletal. The crew finished in a superb 7th position (3rd in category T1.1) in their first Dakar together and went on to win the Hungarian and the Czech Championship title as well as some excellent results in the World Cup in the next months. Despite suffering a big crash during the 2010 edition of the Dakar Rally they worked their way back to the elite, finishing 4th in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies in 2011.
After starting (and finishing) in trucks in the 2012 edition of the Dakar and a short break in 2013, Ourednicek decided to return to the tracks for the 2014 season, but this time at the steering wheel. As the vehicle, he opted for a Hummer H3 EVO and he finished second in the FIA Central European Zone Championship right in his debut year. Two years (and as many category championship titles) later, he decided to take another step forward, and from the beginning of the 2017 season, he drives a Ford Ranger Dakar under the flag of South Racing Central Europe.
With his new co-driver David Kripal they scored a victory in their first ever race together, Morocco Desert Challenge, the biggest rally-raid event in Africa, in April 2017. Due to an accident of Kripal, the crew couldn’t take part in as many World Cup events as they wanted, but still they were able to finish 8th in HunGarian Baja and be among the best 15 in the two biggest events of the World Cup, Baja Aragon and Rallye OiLibya du Maroc.
In 2018 they finished their first Dakar together in 33rd position after struggling with technical problems for most of the race. Following their horror accident in April 2018, in the 2019 edition of Dakar Rally they scored their best stage result so far, a 15th place, and finished 17th overall.