MARTIN PROKOP(cze) 1.83m / 80kg
Travel, tennis, skiing
Benzina, Mogul, Orlen Team, JIPOCAR Transport & Logistic, Ford, Jetsurf, Eurobit, Millers Oils, Satum Czech, OMP, Tenson, Edox Swiss watches, Adria Sedlcany, B2 Design, Ivar CS
2016: 14th (2nd rookie)
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, IRC, ERC, JWRC etc.
“There's no harm in experiencing a bit of disappointment”
Things really didn't go to plan for Martin Prokop in the build-up to last year's Dakar, where the Czech star had been hoping to improve on his superb 6th place in the cars in 2019. First, he and co-driver Jan Tomanek suffered a big crash at the Morocco Rally, which put Jan out of commission for the Dakar and all but destroyed their car 'Shrek', which had to be hastily rebuilt and flown out to Saudi Arabia. Things went from bad to worse as Martin Kolomy -who'd been set to drive a second car for Martin's MP-Sports team- also sustained serious injuries in a major crash in shakedown just before the start of the Dakar, meaning he too was unable to participate. In the end Martin and co-driver Viktor Chytka claimed a creditable 12th place overall, but it was never going to be easy to match the speed of the factory teams, especially without the support of Kolomy. Having put all that frustration behind him, Martin is now hoping for a much smoother Dakar experience as he returns with the Orlen Benzina Team. Jan has recovered but he will be getting behind the wheel of a truck with the Instaforex Loprais Praga team, so Martin and Viktor are set to continue together in Shrek (a Ford Raptor RS Cross Country) as they look to break into the top 10 overall. At only 38, Martin has already had a long and rich racing career, having made his WRC debut at Monte Carlo in 2005 and won the Junior WRC title in 2009. With the Covid-19 pandemic forcing the cancellation of most of this year's offroad events, Martin took a spin in 'Fiona' -Shrek's sister Ford- at the Rally Italia Sardegna, finishing in 15th place. It hasn't been easy to prepare for Dakar 2021, but the best Czech finisher in the cars will spend some time testing in Saudi Arabia as he gears up for his sixth participation in the world's biggest rally.
M.P.: "Last year, Viktor and I often got to the finish line thinking we had done a good job, but then we were disappointed when we found out our result. So I don't consider our 12th place a success. Certainly not compared to 2019, when we had a great time cruising around the desert. Still, there's no harm in experiencing a bit of disappointment, because it gives us even more motivation to improve at Dakar 2021. It will be a completely different Dakar to what we originally planned, especially in terms of preparation. The Covid-19 pandemic changed everything. We weren't able to make a lot of the changes we had planned on the car, because many suppliers had to stop or reduce production, and we couldn't get the necessary components. But we've still tried to improve Shrek a bit. We've worked on the engine and its high-speed performance, as well as the aerodynamics, shock absorbers and differentials, so the car should be a little better and faster. But we've had nowhere to test in 2020. I was glad we had the possibility to do a little testing in Sardinia, although that was more on gravel and rocks; we haven't had a proper ride in the dunes. So we're sending Shrek to Saudi Arabia now and we'll do some events before Dakar, including the Ha'il Rally, which will be more like testing. But we'll be at a disadvantage, because I know that the Mini, Toyota and Prodrive teams have been able to test on the sand, unlike us. Martin Kolomy is not yet fully fit after his crash last year, so we will only be taking one car, and Viktor will be my co-driver again. That means we'll need fewer staff and less tech, so among the cars contenders we'll be going from a small team to the smallest team! But our ambitions remain the same: we want to finish in the top 10 overall.”
BENZINA ORLEN TEAM
- Mark : FORD
- Model : RAPTOR RS CROSS COUNTRY
- Performance tuner : MP-Sports / Orlen Benzina Team
- Assistance : MP-Sports / Orlen Benzina Team
- Class : T1.1 petrol modified A-T 4x4
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