|Baja Poland: Legendary Dakar truck - Polish Star 266 live at the Baja Poland.|
The X-raid Mini All4 Racing and Overdrive Toyota Hilux are not the only Dakar cars to visit Szczecin in North-West Poland for the [ BAJA POLAND ] 2014. In addition to the modern off-road rally cars, fans in Szczecin will have unique occasion to see the legendary old-timer Star 266 - the first Polish truck that finished the Paris-Dakar Rally.
In the last years of eighties start in the Dakar Rally seemed to be almost impossible challenge for Polish competitors. This did not stop designers from the Star trucks factory in Starachowice. Polish engineers, together with the rally crew - Jerzy Mazur and Julian Obrocki - decided to bring this ambitious project to the end.
Dakar version was based on road-going model of Star 266 off-road truck. Dakar car was equipped with six-cylinder diesel engine with a capacity of 6,8 liters. This engine developed as many as 213 bhp. This power was transmitted to all six wheels. The 6200-kilograms truck could reach speed of 110 km/h.
In 1988 route of Paris-Dakar Rally was 13,000 kilometers long. There were 109 crews in trucks on the entry list. However, just 22 of them made it to the finish, including 14 trucks driving already beyond the time limit. Initially, the Polish crew was ranked among the top 40 cars. Unfortunately, on one stage Mazur and Obrocki exceeded the time limit. Therefore they were no longer classified in rally. Anyway they did not give up and managed to reach the finish in Senegal.
Jerzy Mazur never forgot about his Star, which that carried him to Dakar. Multiple Polish racing champion decided to restore the car, which competed in Africa. It turned out, however, that this original dakar truck was lost. Determined Mazur decided to rebuild the legendary truck.
"I came to the conclusion that I will rebuild this model. I wanted to restore all the details accurately and precisely including vintage, painting and sponsors stickers," Jerzy Mazur explains. "When it comes to quality, it is better than in factory cars. If I had to get behind the wheel and drive it would be no problem at all," Mazur adds.
On the last weekend of August oldtimer replica of Star 266 will be presented in Baja Poland service park and during start and finish ceremony. In Szczecin rally fans will also have an opportunity to have a chat with Jerzy Mazur. The former sportsman organized Motorsports Museum in Walbrzych, where Star 266 replica can be watched every day between many other rallying and racing memorabilia. "I believe that my Star will go from Walbrzych to Szczecin on wheels. I think I won’t refuse myself the pleasure to drive it by myself," Mazur declares.
2014/08/13 | 18:52 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/BP