MARTIN PROKOP(cze) 0.18m / 86kg
Travel, tennis, skiing
Orlen Group, Benzina Unipetrol, Jipocar Transport & Logistic s.r.o, LCJ s.r.o - Logisticky Areal Jihlava, Ford, Platinum Orlen Oil, Nursus, EWT Truck and Trailer, Jungheinrich, Satum, Jetsurf, Verva, OMP, Team Orlen
2016: 14th (2nd rookie)
2022: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (2nd), Rally de Portugal (16th), Rally Italia Sardegna (16th), Safari Rally Kenya (Ab.), Rally Finland (17th), Acropolis Rally Greece (14th), Rallye du Maroc (5th)
2021: Arctic Rally Finland (6th), Rally de Portugal (7th), Rally Italia Sardegna (4th), Safari Rally Kenya (Ab.), Acropolis Rally Greece (5th), Rally Finland (4th), Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (1st, 2022 Conformity)
2020: Rally Italia Sardegna (15th)
2019: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (7th), Dubai International Baja (3rd), Italian Baja (3rd), Baja Aragon (4th), Hungarian Baja (2nd), Rallye du Maroc (Ab.)
2018: FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies (2nd): Baja Russia (2nd), Dubai International Baja (4th), Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (1st), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (5th), Rally Kazakhstan (4th), Italian Baja (2nd), Baja España Aragon (3rd), Hungarian Baja (5th), Baja Poland (4th), Rallye du Maroc (4th)
2017: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (2nd), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (7th), Baja España Aragon (7th), Hungarian Baja (4th)
2009: Junior World Rally Champion
2005-present: World Rally Championship (WRC)
WRC, WRC2, IRC, ERC, JWRC etc.
“The rally gets tougher every year”
Martin Prokop always comes to the Dakar with a small team and big ambitions. The Czech privateer has taken part every year since 2016, coming as high as sixth in the cars in 2019. Rapid and consistent, he has finished inside the top 15 in all but one edition: last year's, when major mechanical issues on Stage 10 dropped him down to 25th overall. The talented 40-year-old is always up there, and will be coming to his eighth Dakar with an upgraded version of his Ford Raptor RS Cross Country, affectionately known as 'Shrek'. He and co-driver Viktor Chytka were unable to keep pace with the big guns at Dakar 2022 -which they felt was lacking in difficulty- but they've improved their top speed for 2023. Martin is really looking forward to sinking his teeth into this 45th edition, with its promises of complex navigation and dunes galore. He already had an excellent outing this year at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, finishing second behind Stephane Peterhansel, before bringing the new-look Shrek home in fifth place at the Rallye du Maroc. He also took part in five rounds of the World Rally Championship -in which he has competed for well over a decade- although he was disappointed to suffer engine failure at the Safari Rally Kenya, where he already had a big crash in 2021. As ever, the Czech star is expecting fierce competition at the Dakar, but he's still dreaming of a best-ever finish in the top five.
M.P.: “We had some really big problems at Dakar 2022, they stopped us for five hours and we lost any chance of fighting for a good result. At the start of the rally we were third, so it was really cool. But we struggled with top speed, and this Dakar was too fast. In the hard stuff, we did very well. You need a lot of hard sections that you have to think how to manage, how to pass, how to navigate and so on. I guess everyone was saying the same, because the next Dakar is supposed to be very difficult. There should be a lot of dunes in the second week, and the dunes can change everything, so that's good.
The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge was great, exactly what we needed, a tough race like always. Despite some really strong competition we finished second, just behind the Audi of Peterhansel, so it was a great result. Then we did Morocco and tested the new car for the Dakar. We were quite happy with the improvements in top speed. The rest of the season was about WRC racing, we did five rallies. Now we're feeling really motivated for next season and the next Dakar. We're also looking forward to driving the new car. It's still pretty big, but in terms of aerodynamics we've changed a lot. We've changed the dampers, so I hope we will see some improvements in traction and grip. We still have our V8 engine, a five-litre Mustang, so we're on the limit with power.
The rally gets tougher every year. There are so many good cars coming, with strong and motivated crews. Fighting for the top 10 is something we like, we’re always up there, but because we once finished sixth, I'm still thinking about the top five. Everyone dreams about the top three, to take a trophy home. But top five is something we're really fighting for, and I hope we can make it happen once.”
ORLEN BENZINA TEAM
FORD RAPTOR RS CROSS COUNTRY
ORLEN BENZINA TEAM
- Mark FORD
- Model RAPTOR RS CROSS COUNTRY
- Performance tuner MP-Sports / Orlen Benzina Team
- Assistance MP-Sports / Orlen Benzina Team
- Class T1+: Prototype Cross-Country Cars 4x4
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