Hot on the heels of the Dakar Rally, where Tomáš Tomeček started as a quick assist for the South Racing team, we couldn’t wait for the start of the Africa Eco Race in March, where he was set to compete with his 100% Tatra. However, the organizers decided to postpone the race due to the covid measures in the respective countries.
This year’s AER started unusually in the autumn, and after two years Tomáš finally found himself at the start of his favorite race. The race started on October 15 and took the competitors along the original route of the Dakar Rally from Monaco through Morocco and Mauritania to Senegal’s Rose Lake. Together with the racing cars, there were also specially modified balai desert tow trucks, which were used by the organizers of the race.
Tomáš started in the joint car/truck category and remained in the top ten throughout the race. It should be noted that Tomáš has been riding alone in his Tatra since 2018, and yet during the race he helped his rivals out of tricky situations involving deep dunes or sharp stones. Tomáš himself fell afoul of the sandy environment in the eighth stage of the race, when he had to deal with repairing the hose on the oil pump or digging his Tatra out of the muck himself (in a dry lake with a typically solid surface to the eye, but which turned out to be heavily waterlogged and full of mud). He still finished everything in a good mood and after checking his 100% Tatra, he was again ready to go at the start of the next stage.
The entire Promet/Czechoslovak team rejoiced during the 12th stage. Their 100% Tatra 815 arrived in first place among the trucks. Tomáš thus became the first driver ever to win a long-distance rally in the truck category without a crew. Unbelievable!
He was not deterred by the fact that this year the organizers gave the competitors a hard time. “I was waiting two years for this. The race was hard, very tiring. It was very hot and we rode eight four-hundred-kilometer stages. But that’s the way it should be.” Tomáš Tomeček also praises his fully mechanical machine, which has proven its worth over the years: “The Tatra handled everything. It rumbles on, leaves everything behind in the dust. It’s very dependable.”
Tomáš also placed fifth in the joint category with cars. The 15th edition of the Africa Eco Race starts on March 11, 2023!