MIROSLAV ZAPLETAL(cze) 1.8m / 85kg
Motorsports, floorball, mountain bike
Z&Z Drevohostice s.r.o., Offroadsport a.s.
2012: 40th (trucks)
2010: Ab. Stage 7
2019: Qatar Cross-Country Rally (10th), Dubai International Baja (6th), Hungarian Baja (6th), Baja Poland (4th), Rally Kazakhstan (4th)
2017: Africa Eco Race (2nd), Dubai International Baja (4th), Rally Kazakhstan (9th), Italian Baja (2nd), Baja Aragon (8th), Hungarian Baja (7th), Baja Poland (5th)
2015: Baja Russia (4th), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (4th), Pharaons Rally (5th), Italian Baja (5th), Hungarian Baja (3rd), Baja Poland (9th)
2012: FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies (2nd)
2009: FIA European Cup for Cross-Country Bajas (2nd)
5 x Hungarian Cross-Country Rallies champion
4 x Czech Cross-Country Rallies champion
3 x Polish Cross-Country Rallies champion
3 x FIA CEZ Cross-Country Trophy champion
“My hobby became a job and racing became my life!”
One of the most familiar names on the international rally raid scene, Miroslav Zapletal will be making his Dakar comeback in 2020 after skipping the last three editions. The highly experienced Czech has had mixed results on the world's biggest rally, coming 54th on his maiden outing in 2007 before storming to a remarkable seventh place overall in 2009, which was his country's best result in the cars until Martin Prokop came sixth a decade later in 2019. Miroslav then suffered a serious neck injury in a crash at Dakar 2010 -in which co-driver Tomas Ourednicek was thankfully unharmed- and required many months of rehabilitation before he could get behind the wheel again. Since then, the 53-year-old has only been back to the Dakar twice, driving a fast assistance truck in 2012 and claiming 16th place with highly rated young Polish co-driver Maciej Marton in 2016. A regular on the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, Miroslav came as high as second overall in 2012. Not content with racing cars, he also builds them, with his Offroadsport team producing no fewer than five vehicles for Dakar 2020 (his own, plus those of Prokop, Martin Kolomy, Boris Vaculik and Andrey Cherednikov). A few years ago, Miroslav teamed up with Slovakian co-driver Marek Sykora, who used to race with his father Jozef and will be the only man from his country competing in the cars (Stefan Svitko and Ivan Jakes are both elite riders in the bikes). 'Mirek' and Marek have certainly had excellent preparation for the Dakar: they took part in almost 20 races this year, including a handful in Saudi Arabia. They were also crowned Cross-Country Rallies champions of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, and topped the FIA CEZ Trophy rankings. Suffice it to say that the talented, experienced and ambitious pair will be ones to watch at this 42nd edition.
M.Z.: “Dakar 2020 will be in a new territory and it caught my attention. I've already competed several times in Saudi Arabia and I can say that it's a very interesting country for racing. It makes sense that the race has moved to a country that is very interested in co-organising it. I want to finish the race, but after the serious accident I had at Dakar 2010 I already know it won't be straightforward. I've known Marek for a long time, but as a co-driver this is the second year he has been working for me. This will be a landmark year for me, because five cars participating in the race were made in my workshops. There's my F150 Evo, Boris Vaculik's car, another one for the Kazakh driver Andrey Cherednikov, and Martin Prokop's team used two of my vehicles as the basis for their Ford Raptor RS racing cars. I don't know if cars are becoming more popular back home, maybe this year will just be an exception. When Karel Loprais was racing, he had factory support; the truck was financed by the Tatra company. Today, only private teams from the Czech Republic participate in Dakar and it is very difficult for them to finance it. I've been racing since my childhood. I started out on a motorcycle, taking part in enduro races. Then I moved into the cars, and after a few years I started producing racing cars. At that moment my hobby became a job and racing became my life!”
- Marque : FORD
- Modèle : F150 EVO
- Préparateur : Offroadsport a.s.
- Assistance : Offroadsport a.s.
- Classe : T1.1 4x4 TT modifiés essence
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