Dakar 2024: “Overtaking championship” for Ourednicek and Kripal on grueling Stage 1

Dakar 2024: “Overtaking championship” for Ourednicek and Kripal on grueling Stage 1

Despite starting from behind because of their accident in the prologue, Toyota Gazoo Racing Czech team’s Tomas Ourednicek and David Kripal passed dozens of vehicles and secured a solid result, finishing 36th. They had the potential to achieve the best Czech result in the cars category for the stage, but in the final part of the track, the crew encountered challenges due to darkness and a puncture, resulting in some time loss.

“The start was delayed, and that was very bad for us because it was clear that we’d finish very late. When we started, the new setup on the car worked really well, so all day was like a championship in overtaking. We overtook, I don't know, maybe 20 cars and Can-Ams. And overtaking was really difficult because of the dust.
Then, at kilometer 20, we caught Karel Trneny. He was before us, but it was impossible to overtake him because the dust was coming directly to us, there was no side wind. So it was really not easy. After maybe 20 kilometers, we had to slow down. Then one truck passed us, because we were very slow in the dust. Then we caught Karel again as he was catching a Can-Am, and I overtook them both. We had a big jump over a stone. It was really fun. We enjoyed it a lot because the car was just going fantastic. And then again, overtaking after overtaking, and we lost some time with each of them.
Then, after the neutralization, there was a section that was simply stupid. Just stones and rocks and stones again. Only good for destroying the car. It was really not a nice stage. It was probably one of the most horrible stages I’ve ever seen. We slowed down to preserve the car, as going fast was nearly impossible. But even in this area, we overtook some vehicles. We got lost briefly, but then we found the correct way.
For the last 10 or 20 kilometers, we drove in darkness, so we had to slow down. On top of that, we had a puncture as well, but we managed to finish the stage,” Tomas Ourednicek said about the day.

“It was a very hard stage for the drivers because of the stones and for the co-drivers as well because of the many changes in direction. There were many parallel tracks on the rocky section, and we did the last part in the dark. But we finished and managed to overtake many cars, so overall it was great,” co-driver David Kripal opined.

Tomorrow will be another long day, with a total distance of 662 kilometers and 470 kilometers against the clock between Al Henakiyah and Al Duwadimi.

Press release