MARTIN PROKOP(cze) 1.89m / 86kg
Travel, tennis, skiing, padel, jetsurf
Orlen Group, Benzina Unipetrol, Jipocar Transport & Logistic s.r.o, LCJ s.r.o - Logisticky Areal Jihlava, Ford, Platinum Orlen Oil, Nursus, EWT Truck and Trailer, Jungheinrich, Satum, Jetsurf, Verva, OMP, Team Orlen
2016: 14th (2nd rookie)
2023: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (2nd), Rally Guanajuato Mexico (11th), Rally Italia Sardegna (13th), Safari Rally Kenya (10th), Acropolis Rally Greece (15th), Rallye du Maroc (6th)
2022: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (2nd), Rally de Portugal (16th), Rally Italia Sardegna (16th), Safari Rally Kenya (Ab.), Rally Finland (17th), Acropolis Rally Greece (14th), Rallye du Maroc (5th)
2021: Arctic Rally Finland (6th), Rally de Portugal (7th), Rally Italia Sardegna (4th), Safari Rally Kenya (Ab.), Acropolis Rally Greece (5th), Rally Finland (4th), Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (1st, 2022 Conformity)
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, WRC2, IRC, ERC, JWRC etc.
"There are big expectations"
Martin Prokop has long been one of the best privateer drivers on the Dakar. Hailing from the motorsport-mad Czech Republic, the 41-year-old began his racing career in traditional rally, starring on the national scene before clinching the Junior WRC title in 2009. Since making his debut in Monte Carlo in 2005 he has participated in over 130 WRC events, and even in 2023 he did Mexico, Italy, Kenya and Greece in the Rally2 class. Martin was eventually drawn to offroad racing and spent years building up to his maiden Dakar in 2016, where he took a creditable 14th place. He has reached the finish line in each of his eight appearances, setting a Czech record with a superb sixth place in 2019 and equaling that result a year ago. For a small private structure like the Orlen Benzina team, it was a remarkable effort to be fighting with the big guns from factory teams such as Toyota Gazoo Racing, Bahrain Raid Xtreme and Overdrive Racing. When he first began preparing a car for the Dakar, Martin joked that it was "really ugly" and needed a nickname to increase its charms. Someone suggested 'Shrek' and the sobriquet has stuck, although the 2024 incarnation of the car -a Ford Raptor RS Cross Country- is a far cry from the original. Now boasting T1+ specs, a V6 engine and a new chassis, the latest version of Shrek is a formidable beast, as Martin demonstrated with second place at this year's Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and sixth place at the Rallye du Maroc. Ahead of Dakar 2024 the team is doing some final testing in Dubai, where they have a workshop and a test car, before heading to Saudi Arabia. For the fifth straight year Martin will be joined by talented co-driver Viktor Chytka, whose brother Marian is one of rally-raid's top photographers. As ever, Martin and Viktor are aiming high and would love to bring Shrek home in the top five of the highly competitive Ultimate class.
M.P.: "The new car is very good. It's still called Shrek, of course! It's good that even on the high-speed stages in Morocco we were in touch with the top guys. It's good for Dakar. We tested a lot of things there, different setups every day, it's nice that we had a chance to try it in real conditions. We were pushing like hell, but the gaps were so small. Everyone can just go flat out, it's crazy how fast you can go on hard terrain. You can really push on the stones without getting punctures, so maybe the tyres are too solid now! Earlier in the season we did Abu Dhabi, but then nothing over the summer, just some WRC in the Rally2 car, and now we are back for Dakar. The Dakar is the biggest thing. In the Czech Republic, rally-raid is one of the most popular sports. So everybody is focused on it and everybody's looking at us. We have to be ready and there are big expectations. People are always asking, 'How's the new engine? How's the new car? Will you be in the top five?', those kinds of things. The passion back home is so strong that we have to be serious and really get ready. The team worked really hard this year to change the engine from V8 to V6. So we're going in the right direction, but for such a small team it's a big step. You should have seen my guys after the first stage in Morocco, they were almost white with how nervous they were, asking if the tyres were OK. It's emotional in the team, because we do it all with our own hands, every day. It's a big thing for us."
V.C.: "Martin and I have been racing together for five years. I was taking some photos of him and we made a deal, and now we're racing and I'm very happy. I'm also enjoying the development of the car because I'm part of the team and involved in testing and so on. I try to do my best to describe how the car feels and help the team make progress. As you can see, we're capable of fighting with the factory teams, so it's not bad! We'll try to do our best. We want to fight, and if we reach the top five it will be our goal."
ORLEN JIPOCAR TEAM
ORLEN JIPOCAR TEAM
- Marca FORD
- Modelo RAPTOR
- Preparador MP-Sports / Orlen Benzina Team
- Asistencia MP-Sports / Orlen Benzina Team
- Clase T1+: Prototype Cross-Country Cars 4x4
Recibe información exclusiva del Dakar