N°604 Car Tatra Buggyra ZM Racing


(cze) 1.81m / 92kg


Hiking, skiing


Shandong Zero Mileage Lubrication Technology Co. Ltd / Excalibur Army / Gleec.Com / Build Synergy / Tatra Trucks / Leram / Excalibur International / Columnate Industrial / Valcano / Retia / Vop Nováky / Altron / Esox S. R. O. / Az Energies / Klima Solution S. R. O. / Imos / Az Intergips

2023: 5th
2021: Ab. Stage 12
2016: 8th
2014: Ab. Stage 6
2013: Ab. Stage 5
2012: 12th

2022: Baja Poland (2nd)
2020: Baja Poland (1st)
2019: Rallye du Maroc (1st)
2018: Baja Aragon (1st)
2017: Africa Eco Race (2nd)
2011: Silk Way Rally (13th)

Czech Offroad marathon series


“I’m definitely tempted by the Bedouin trophy”

Jaroslav Valtr heads to Dakar 2024 as one of the contenders for overall victory in the trucks. The 54-year-old from the Czech Republic has been competing in motorsport for a long time, and made his first Dakar appearance in 2012 for the KM Racing team (co-founded by Martin Macik Sr., whose son Martin Macik Jr. will be one of his main rivals in Saudi Arabia). After finishing 12th on his debut, Jaroslav was forced to withdraw from the Dakar in 2013 and 2014, but powered to an impressive eight place with the Tatra Buggyra ZM Racing team in 2016. He then switched his focus to the Africa Eco Race for a couple of years, coming as high as second in 2017. He meanwhile decided to set up his own team, Valtr Racing, using the knowledge he had acquired hiring vehicles from other outfits. After picking up some handy wins at Baja Aragon, the Rallye du Maroc and Baja Poland, he was tempted back to the Dakar in 2021. Unfortunately, a crash on the final stage meant he finished that edition in hospital with a back injury. In 2023, he decided to team up with Tatra Buggyra ZM Racing again, explaining that he wanted a truck with plenty of firepower and an automatic gearbox; the Tatra Phoenix ticked all the boxes. In the absence of the all-conquering Kamaz-Master team, Jaroslav was right in the thick of last year’s title fight, and briefly led the Dakar after the third stage. He ultimately finished in fifth place, but returns in 2024 with dreams of landing a long-awaited Czech triumph. It will be a special edition for Jaroslav, because he and his two sons are all participating together for the first time. Jaroslav Jr. will be navigating Ales Loprais for the third consecutive year, while Michal makes his debut as a driver for the Valtr Racing team. As for Jaroslav and his crew, they will be driving an upgraded Tatra Phoenix. The truck boasts improved engine performance, while the axles, suspension and gearbox have undergone a complete overhaul. Jaroslav is joined by brothers Rene and David Kilian, who have already done several Dakars together with Martin Kolomy. There promises to be another fascinating battle in the trucks, especially between the Czech and Dutch competitors, and Jaroslav would love to find himself top of the pile when the dust settles on this 46th edition.

J.V.: “Dakar 2023 was physically and mentally very demanding, but a truly beautiful competition. Achieving fifth place in such a tough competition was a great result. I think 2024 is going to be a tough year. The route they’ve announced promises probably the toughest Dakar in Saudi Arabia. As a driver, I’m obviously looking forward to it, even though I know it will be hard work. It’s going to be another challenge competing with my sons. The boys and I will be pushing each other, but we’ll support each other in the bivouac. Michal is making his debut behind the wheel of a truck, while Jaroslav Jr. is already an experienced navigator. I hope all three of us will safely reach the finish line. It would be great to at least repeat last year’s position, but I’m definitely tempted by the Bedouin trophy. That’s the dream of everyone who goes to Dakar.”

D.K.: “My brother and I have been rallying for over 30 years. Rene is a navigator. I started as a driver, but after an eye injury, I switched and became a mechanic. Each return to the Dakar brings something different with it. I know what I’m getting into, but I think it’s going to be a real mess in January! My best memories of the Dakar are the dunes. Those endless hills and plains of sand are fascinating.”

R.K.: “The Dakar is a huge phenomenon. As a navigator, I’m always discovering and learning something new, and that was the case again in 2023. It’s always more fun with my brother on the track. Sometimes we have a little spat, but we stick together. It’s going to be good, and it’s hard to predict the outcome. As they say: ‘In order to finish first, first you have to finish’. If we get through the rally, then we can talk about the standings.”


Tatra Buggyra ZM Racing


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Ranking 2024

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