MARTIN MACIK(cze) 1.89m / 90kg
Anything with an engine, basketball
IVAR CS, Silmet, MM Technology, Seyfor
2023: 2nd (four stage wins)
2019: Ab. Stage 5
2015: Ab. Stage 5
2014: 13th (navigator for Vlastimil Vildman)
2013: 18th (navigator for Vlastimil Vildman)
2023: Baja Aragon (2nd), Baja Poland (2nd), Rallye du Maroc (DSQ)
2022: Baja Aragon (3rd), Rallye du Maroc (1st)
2021: Baja Aragon (1st), Rallye du Maroc (3rd)
2020: Baja Poland (2nd), Baja Drawsko (1st)
2019: Baja Aragon (1st), Baja Poland (1st), Rallye du Maroc (2nd)
2018: Baja Aragon (2nd), Baja Poland (1st), Rallye du Maroc (1st)
2017: Baja Aragon (1st), Baja Poland (1st), El Chott Rally Tunisia (1st)
2016: Baja Drawsko (1st), Baja Poland (2nd), Hungarian Baja (3rd), Baja Aragon (4th)
2015: Baja Drawsko (1st), Baja Poland (1st), Hungarian Baja (2nd), Baja Bohemia (2nd), Baja Aragon (3rd)
2014: Hungarian Baja (1st), Baja Aragon (4th)
2013: Silk Way Rally (7th)
"You're also fighting with yourself, not just the others"
At only 34 years of age, Martin Macik is already lining up for his 12th Dakar in the trucks. The charismatic Czech entrepreneur has followed in the footsteps of his father Martin Senior, who first competed in the world's toughest rally in 2003. Martin Junior began in 2013 as a navigator for Vlastimil Vildman, before switching to the driver's seat from 2015 onwards. Over time he has become one of the leading truck contenders, although he was never realistically in a position to threaten the all-conquering Kamaz-Master team in previous editions, coming as high as fourth in 2021. However, the absence of the Russians in 2023 threw the trucks category wide open and led to a fascinating Czech-Dutch battle between Macik, Ales Loprais, Jaroslav Valtr, the Van den Brinks and eventual winner Janus van Kasteren. Martin had to be content with second place overall, despite four stage wins, but he didn’t begrudge his good friend Van Kasteren the title. He lost time after his brakes overheated on Stage 2, causing two tyres to explode, and then got stuck in the mud on Stage 9. Martin returns in 2024 as one of the main favourites, even if he insists that the challenge of winning the Dakar is as hefty as his 10-tonne Iveco Powerstar. Nicknamed 'Cenda', the truck was built in the MM Technology workshops and returns for its second Dakar outing this year. MM Technology is the latest iteration of the team Martin set up with his father, and they will once again be providing vehicles and service to Italtrans Racing and the Firemen Dakar team in this 2024 edition. Martin also offers media and marketing services through his MM Production and MM Photography projects, which ensures he always has plenty to keep him busy! For the fifth straight year, he is joined by long-term navigator Frantisek 'Frank' Tomasek and race mechanic David Svanda, who are both keen to help him hunt down that elusive Bedouin trophy. The rally-obsessed Czech Republic has been waiting for a Dakar win since 2001, and Martin looks one of the best-placed to finally end the drought.
M.M.: “The whole Dakar was completely different last year from the truck perspective. It was a lot of fun for everyone and a big fight. But the Dakar is really tough, so the process of elimination continued every stage. There were 10 contenders, then five, four, three, and eventually just two with me and Janus. So it was interesting until the end. Of course, I wanted to win, but at least my best friend from the starting grid won Dakar. Whatever, I will beat him next time! (laughs). There was no major damage to the truck and just a few small things to upgrade. We tested in Tunisia for a few weeks and found out it can go even faster. But the setup is always complicated with the truck, it's not just about the chassis. You have two suspensions per wheel, plus springs, then four additional suspensions on the cabin. They all have to be set up right and it's hard to find the balance for every kind of terrain. In Morocco I was able to go so fast that the tyres couldn't survive 100 kilometres. It's not easy.”
“Do I still have the same desire? Well, imagine you're working hard every day to win Dakar, and you finish second. To stay in the top three, you're also fighting 50% with yourself, not just the others. You need to finish and avoid problems, but you know you will have problems. That's why the Dakar is so tough. I'm looking forward to the 48h chrono stage because it's something new. It's an adventure, back to the roots of Dakar. That's what we all want, that's why we're racing. We'll enjoy it, the three of us sleeping somewhere in the desert. We just need to take care of the truck because it will be in the Empty Quarter, and anything can happen out there.”
D.S.: “My first introduction to motorsport was around the age of 16, when we were track commies helping out at local rallies. I've been working at MM technology since 2018. I did my first Dakar in Peru in 2019 as a mechanic-electrician, and since February 2019 I've been our race mechanic and head of complete electrical installation. For me, Dakar 2023 was the same as in previous years, only with a happier ending. The work and commitment must always be the same, whether it's a podium position or a top-10 finish. There are three of us in the crew and everyone is very important, without each other we cannot achieve the maximum result. I am technically responsible for the truck, and I appreciate this role very much. Because any mistake or any wrong decision I make can ruin the chances of the whole team, and this opportunity only comes once a year."
F.T.: “My first and only experiences of racing were with Martin. We used to ride offroad bikes together, just for fun. We'd already known each other for a while because Martin's father built his first racing truck in my town. The idea of racing together started out as a joke, but we've now been hanging out in a truck for nine years! No matter where we are, or how bad the conditions, Martin and I can rely on each other. I'm always there for him if he needs good advice, inside or outside the truck. We have the same values and the same sense of humour. David has also slotted in just perfectly, so I think we have a super crew. We want to enjoy our time with the team and get the win, because the whole team has put in maximum effort during preparation.”
MM TECHNOLOGY Team
- Mark IVECO
- Model POWERSTAR
- Performance tuner MM Technology
- Assistance MM Technology
- Class T5.1: Prototype Cross-Country Trucks
All news of M. Macik
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