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Rally TT Puglia e Lucania: Zapletal managed to after having accident.

There was an unbelievable luck for the triple master of "Czech Cross Country Rally Championship" and best Mitsubishi in the Dakar 2009, Miroslav Zapletal, when he attended the first race of "FIA Central Europe Zone Championship". When driving the 18th kilometre of the first speed trial in south Italian Melfi, Zapletal's car started to skid in a left-hand bend and after one back wheel fell into a deep track the car turned over.

After getting over the sides and roof back to all 4 wheels the Czech professional kept a level head, started the engine, changed to a low gear and continued the race. The cracked windscreen and seriously damaged front body did not make the ride easier but the crew i.e. Zapletal and his Codriver Tomas Ourednícek managed to win the speed trial in spite of that.

In a short service the engineers removed the broken windscreen and the crew got permit from the manager of the racing competition to start without the windscreen just having glasses on. The crew managed to achieve the best time even in the second speed run even in such hard conditions.

After change of the windscreen the crew continued their winning journey. Another big problem appeared in the 4th speed run when the 4th gear failed to work. Unfortunately the 5th gear failed to work too so it was very hard to keep the front position. But in spite of that all Miroslav Zapletal was able to make use of his extremely big experience on various Italian tracks and could win with an ease!

Miroslav Zapletal: "When we found ourselves in the critical moment, I felt we could not have the situation under control any longer, but immediately after having the car back on wheels I tried to start the engine, it started immediately so we could go on. I was lucky that a part of the windscreen remained unbroken so I could still see clearly enough. But my navigator had to go blind."

"Time was running out and the pace was crazy so I could not even think about the possible consequences of the accident. And the luck was on our side for too long but not any longer as I realized on the next day when the gear box started to struggle. As we were ahead of the Italian crew by only 2 and a half minutes, we could not experience any relaxed driving and I also had to treat the gear box with care very much. If the 3rd gear had failed to work too, we would have finished! Me and my navigator were even begging our car loudly to keep working. And it did! I think I have never achieved gold any harder than this time."

Tomás Ourednícek: "This was the first time after ten thousand kilometres SS without any accident when I experienced the car turning over. After falling back on the wheels I realized that I was still holding the road book, I just thrashed out the glass fragments and Mirek started to go on immediately. My question to Mirek "do we have all wheels?" was the only comment of the accident we did and there was no time anyway, we had to concentrate on the ride again. First after ten kilometres my hands started to shiver and I was a bit sick. But seeing Mirek driving full gear as if nothing had happened, I suppressed the starting shock and could still navigate Mirek for as long as we got to the end and won!

Tradition of the "OffroadSport.CZ" team goes back to the year 2002. Pilot of the team, Miroslav Zapletal, started with motor sport doing the Enduro motocycle racing. In 2001, he first tried to drive a racing car and went for it completely just a year after. He is triple winner of Czech cross-country rallye and was second in the same in Hungaria. In 2007 could win the third position in FIA Bajas international rallye. In the same year he first took part in Rallye Dakar achieving 54th position in general car rating and 5th position among the newbies.

Talking about the last Dakar series Central Europe and Pax Rally, he was the 8th and 9th in the hard racing competition including factory cars. The team Zapletal-Ourednícek achieved historical win in Rallye Dakar 2009: 7th position in general, 3rd position in the category T1.1 (petrol) which means that the Czech team managed to defeat two strong factory teams (Mitsubishi and BMW) in spite of all expectations.

2009/06/01 | 17:28 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Tomas Ourednícek

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