N°502 Truck INSTAFOREX LOPRAIS TEAM

ALES LOPRAIS

(cze) Born on 10/01/1980 1.7m / 82kg

Sponsors

InstaForex, Praga, Chladek & Tintera, 69 Energy Drink, mmcité+, PSG, Liqui Moly, Optima Batteries, Interflon, Wabco, Go4Games, JMK System, Donaldson, Deel Trust, Auris, Japo Transport, Jursa Sport, North Med, Molpir, Jukl, Mercedes-Benz Moravia, Certina, Satum, Marat Engineering, L69prais, Volantech

Website

2019: 5th
2018: Ab. Stage 5 (1 stage win)
2017: 7th
2016: Ab. Stage 1
2015: 4th (1 stage win)
2014: 6th (2 stage wins)
2013: 6th (1 stage win)
2012: Ab Stage 9 (1 stage win)
2011: Ab Stage 10 (2 stage wins)
2010: Ab. Stage 2
2009: Ab. Stage 14
2007: 3rd (1 stage win)
2006: Ab. Stage 12 (navigator for K. Loprais)

2018: Morocco Desert Challenge (1st)
2017: Silk Way Rally (Ab. Stage 9)
2015: OiLibya Rally of Morocco (2nd)
2014: Hungarian Baja (Ab.), Rally Breslau (1st)
2013: Silk Way Rally (21st)
2012: Silk Way Rally (4th)
2011: Silk Way Rally (1st)
2010: Silk Way Rally (4th)
2009: Silk Way Rally (3rd)
2008: Hungarian Baja (1st), Central Europe Rally (3rd)

Interview

“I'm staying positive but keeping my feet on the ground”

The name Loprais has long been synonymous with success on the Dakar. Karel Loprais won six titles in the trucks between 1988 and 2001, which makes him the third-most decorated participant in history after Stephane Peterhansel (13) and Vladimir Chagin (7). Karel's brother Milan later set up the private Loprais Tatra team and encouraged his son Ales to join him in the family business. Having put aside his law studies to focus on his growing passion for rally raid, Ales made his Dakar debut as a navigator for his uncle Karel in 2006. He then enjoyed a superb first outing behind the wheel in 2007, winning Stage 13 and finishing third overall behind Hans Stacey and Ilgizar Mardeev. The 39-year-old has enjoyed mixed fortunes ever since, failing to finish the rally six times, but making it into the top seven on the five occasions that he has gone all the way. Ales' nine Dakar stage wins demonstrate that he is one of the fastest truck drivers out there, but reliability has often been his Achilles heel on the world's toughest rally. For this 2020 edition, renowned Czech manufacturers Praga have provided him with a brand-new V4S DKR, an updated version of their famous V3S model. With his usual navigator Ferran Marco Alcayna joining Albert Llovera's crew this year, Ales has teamed up with Khalid Alkendi of the UAE, with whom he raced the Silk Way Rally in 2017. The Dubai native has completed the Dakar three times in a car with Abdulla Alheraiz and won the 2017 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi, and his in-depth knowledge of the region should prove invaluable for the InstaForex Loprais Team in Saudi Arabia. Mechanic Petr Pokora also returns as the private outfit look to give the factory teams a run for their money and improve on an impressive fifth place last time out. Who knows, there could even be a Loprais back on the top step of the Dakar podium for the first time in almost 20 years…

A.L.: “Last year we had a lot of small, everyday issues, particularly with injection troubles in the engine, but in the end we made it. We weren't able to go exactly as we wanted, we didn't win any stages, but we still had a couple of very nice days and did a good job finishing fifth. Now we have a new truck based on the Tatra chassis, with a new cab, new engine, new shock absorbers. We've developed in areas where we were losing time. We've got a new partner, Praga, which is really well-known Czech brand. They were established in 1907, so they're one of the country's oldest brands. They've mostly been focusing on super sports and aeroplanes, but now they want to enter the truck field again. We're happy they've chosen us as a partner to promote the V4S, the new version of their famous V3S offroad truck. Hopefully we'll be able to have a nice race and compete against the likes of Kamaz, Maz and Iveco. That's the spirit of Dakar: privateers matching the factory teams. It's our destiny! My really great friend Ferran Marco asked if he could have an adventure this year with a friend of his who is paralysed, Albert Llovera. They're going with Iveco. So we agreed, and I teamed up again with Khalid. He's a local driver and navigator who knows the terrain and speaks Arabic. We've been friends for a while, so it was quite an easy decision. I'm feeling positive about Saudi Arabia. I've been to the UAE quite a bit for testing and I know the terrain is similar. But as always, the Dakar is so difficult, and there are so many minor issues that can decide the race. I'm staying positive but keeping my feet on the ground, because the Dakar is the Dakar! We haven't raced this year,we've just been working on the new truck. As a private team it's a long-term project. With testing and developing we don't have the time or the technical structure to race as well. It's a big success to get a completely new truck ready within a year. It's still a family game, there are many Lopraises in the team! Even my five-year-old son is already visiting the garage, coming in and saying, 'what the hell is going on here?' I think we may have a new boss in the family!"

Vehicle

INSTAFOREX LOPRAIS TEAM

  • Mark : TATRA
  • Model : TATRA JAMAL - QUEEN 69
  • Performance tuner : InstaForex Loprais Team
  • Assistance : InstaForex Loprais Team
  • Class : T4.2 Modified trucks

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