Aron Domżała and Maciek Marton as a crew will make their debut in the upcoming Dakar Rally 2019. They have two seasons spent together aboard Toyota Hilux Overdive under the belt, so they don’t lack fitting together and experience. Maciek already knows what it means to take part in Dakar – it will be his 4th start in the rally. What does he have to say about Aron’s and his preparation to Dakar Rally 2019?
Lately you trained for Dakar in Morocco. What did you focus on?
- Training in Merzouga was organized mainly because we lost our chance to take part in Rallye du Maroc and we lacked training in the dunes with T1 car. And so, during this 2 days we focused only on this. We made more than 300km only in the sand, that helped us refresh a bit our self-confidence and the rules of cooperation in that kind of terrain, which next Dakar will mainly consist of.
And how do you evaluate your preparation for this sandy rally?
- Aron, above all, did a great physical work. He’s in an awesome physical condition. Unfortunately, we still lack kilometers in dunes, but we’ll be training during our first few days in Peru. How do I evaluate my preparation? Tough question… For sure I’m not as much physically prepared as I’d want to. I had an unlucky year, concerning small injuries and some weird health problems. I hope it won’t take a toll. As for navigation, it’s hard to prepare not taking part in rallies. Also the scale of difficulty of Dakar prepared by organizers is a lottery. Dakar 2016 was very easy, and in 2018 it demanded more focus and can’t be described as navigationally easy. Certainly, I feel strong in the technical knowledge of the car. We have the car in the same specification as I’ve been using for 2 years and I’ve had in my company, Moonsport, also for 2 years, only several minor changes were made. Though, in my opinion, new Sadev gearbox, is not a good idea. I hope that I won’t need to use my technical knowledge of the car.
What about driving in the desert? You hadn’t been in the dunes since Qatar Cross Country Rally. Haven’t you run out of skills?
- Yes, the last time we raced in the desert in Qatar. We haven’t run out of skills, because although we didn’t take part in rallies, we’ve been training all the time. Of cours,e not as much as we’d like to, but we’re still in good shape.
And how do you train here, at home?
- At home we mainly train separately. We live only 20km from each other, but both of us run our own companies and it’s difficult to get in sync. Besides, if I regularly went running with Aron, we wouldn’t be making this interview now 😉 Together we train with our Subaru on different surfaces and during our trips to Dubai and Morocco. Aron, as far as I know, goes to the gym at least 7 times a week, and I ride a stationary bike and work in my garden, it’s a good “gym”.
Which place on Dakar 2019 those preparations could bring to you? 😉
- If we drive without any tough adventures, we’ll be able to be somewhere around 11th place. But try to drive on Dakar without adventures… Last year before the start I thought that the finish will be a success, and we made it to 8th place. It’s hard to say anything…
Text: Anna Michalska, translation: Anna Michalska, Rita Konya
Photos: Maciek Marton