Josef Machacek transitions to advisory role at Buggyra for Dakar 2023

Josef Macháček has raced in the Dakar Rally on a regular basis since 1999, but the 64-year-old will take 2023 off in favour of tutoring Buggyra Racing‘s drivers Aliyyah and Yasmeen Koloc.

Macháček won the 2009 Dakar Rally in the Quad category followed by the 2021 edition in a Light Prototype (T3), being the inaugural class winner in both. The 2021 win came with Buggyra. His 2022 Rally, was tumultuous due to a pair of incidents that dropped him outside the top twenty in the overall; despite finishing eleventh in the final stage, he was twenty-fifth in the general classification.

For the 2023 Rally, Buggyra will field Can-Ams for the 18-year-old Koloc twins, whose father Martin owns the team. Nicknamed the “Dakar Sistaz”, both are new to the race though Aliyyah has proven her meddle by leading the FIA Middle East Cup for Cross-Country Bajas standings with a pair of wins in the Jordan Baja and Saudi Baja. The latter, which took place last weekend, is especially crucial as Saudi Arabia also hosts the Dakar Rally.

“The vehicle is developed on a very good level,” said Macháček. “We confirmed it in 2021 when we won our category. The new generation can step in and set the first result that will be used as a benchmark in the future. I am going to the Dakar as a mentor, but surely the Dakar has the best media coverage and everyone has some expectations.

“I have been connected with the Dakar for 20 years, it’s a big number, but it will be my first year as a mentor. It will surely be interesting. I am looking forward to seeing it from the other side, even though I won’t see much because when one is on the stage, they see fantastic things. For me, cooperation with Buggyra prolonged my sport career on the top level, so it was something that every driver with a rich career wishes for.”

To prepare for Dakar, Buggyra elected to end their NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season two rounds early. Aliyyah had been running the full schedule in both the EuroNASCAR PRO and 2 divisions while Yasmeen had to call off her NASCAR plans due to injury. Macháček ran the NWES opener in Valencia in the Club Challenge class and finished eighth of ten cars.

“Josef Macháček helped both with the development of the Prototype and devleopment of young drivers in the academy, he shared his knowledge with the drivers and co-drivers,” commented Martin Koloc. “For the upcoming Dakar, Josef will not race, we agreed he won’t race, but he will be my advisor. We will be together every day, we will be in the same car, he will also be the mentor of the young drivers and my advisor for the management. He’ll help me make the right decisions.”

The Czech outfit is also fielding a Tatra truck for Jaroslav Valtr, who rejoins the team after last racing with the min 2016.

The 2023 Dakar Rally begins on 31 December 2022.