MIROSLAV ZAPLETAL(cze) 1.82m / 96kg
Motorsport, mountain climbing
Z&Z Drevohostice s.r.o., Offroadsport a.s.
2021: Ab. Stage 5
2012: 40th (trucks)
2010: Ab. Stage 7
2022: FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas (2nd): Jordan Baja (2nd), Italian Baja (3rd), Baja Poland (2nd), Saudi Baja (2nd), Dubai International Baja (6th)
2021: Al Sharqiya Baja (2nd), Rally Kazakhstan (11th), Hungarian Baja (4th), Baja Poland (5th), Italian Baja (5th), Hail Rally (8th)
2020: Hail Rally (2nd), Baja Satu Mare (1st), Baja Szczecinek (2nd), 4V Rally Raid Romania (2nd), Baja Poland (3rd), Baja Drawsko (3rd)
2019: Qatar Cross-Country Rally (10th), Dubai International Baja (6th), Hungarian Baja (6th), Baja Poland (4th), Rally Kazakhstan (4th)
2017: Africa Eco Race (2nd), Dubai International Baja (4th), Rally Kazakhstan (9th), Italian Baja (2nd), Baja Aragon (8th), Hungarian Baja (7th), Baja Poland (5th)
2015: Baja Russia (4th), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (4th), Pharaons Rally (5th), Italian Baja (5th), Hungarian Baja (3rd), Baja Poland (9th)
2012: FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies (2nd)
2009: FIA European Cup for Cross-Country Bajas (2nd)
5 x Hungarian Cross-Country Rallies champion
4 x Czech Cross-Country Rallies champion
3 x Polish Cross-Country Rallies champion
3 x FIA CEZ Cross-Country Trophy champion
“Placing in the top 20 cars is still our goal”
It's been 16 years since Miroslav Zapletal lined up on the Dakar for the first time, but the 56-year-old Czech driver is still as passionate as ever about rally-raid. He started out with motorbikes and enduro as a boy, but soon found his true calling on four wheels. As well as racing cars, Miroslav began building them too, producing vehicles for a host of top drivers in the Czech Republic and beyond in his Offroadsport team workshops. He came home in a modest 54th place on his Dakar debut in 2007, before storming to seventh overall with Tomas Ourednicek in 2009, his career-best finish to date. After suffering a crash and a serious neck injury at Dakar 2010, he completed the rally in the trucks in 2012 before posting a solid 16th place in 2016. He was then tempted back again in 2020 when the rally came to Saudi Arabia, having already done a fair bit of racing in the Middle East. He and new co-driver Marek Sykora outfoxed a few more fancied crews to come 16th again, and they have remained together ever since. The 40-year-old Slovakian is a talented all-rounder who got his first taste of the Dakar in 2016, as a truck mechanic for Robert Randysek. After finishing 24th at Dakar 2022, the Offroadsport duo enjoyed another prolific season, starring at the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas; Miroslav came second in the drivers' standings behind Yazeed Al Rajhi, while Marek won the co-drivers' title. Having clocked up a huge number of kilometres, 'Mirek' and Marek are now feeling ready to tackle what they hope will be a tough Dakar 2023, and they're relishing the prospect of a battle with the T1+ cars as they target another top-20 finish.
M.Z.: “We came close to the top 20 in the last Dakar and we were satisfied with that. The rest of the season was very full. We went to almost 20 races in Europe and the Middle East! I've done many races in Saudi Arabia and they are always interesting. I like real offroad, with technical driving in difficult terrain. I hope to enjoy this Dakar more than last year's, where many sections were more like rally. We'll go to Dakar 2023 with the same car as last year. We didn't have time to make modifications because we were building a new car for a client, although he's not preparing for the Dakar just yet. We have been working on the development of the T1+. The new car for the client is a T1+, and we're planning to build the next T1+ car for ourselves. Placing in the top 20 cars is still our goal. We'll see how it goes. There's still a chance, even if we're fighting with the T1+ cars.”
- Mark FORD
- Model F150
- Performance tuner Offroadsport a.s.
- Assistance Offroadsport a.s.
- Class T1.1 Prototype Cross-Country Cars 4x4
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