Posts Tagged ‘Loprais Team’
Instaforex Loprais Team will take a brand new Praga V4S DKR special to 42nd edition of Dakar Rally. The truck comes with a modern technological package including an automatic gearbox, a new engine and all the other components have been also improved to a new level.
“For us, it’s like a brand new car in many ways. We’re sticking with the tested backbone chassis with a central tube, independent suspension and drum brakes, but the new automatic gearbox and the new engine required some changes in electronics. It also changed the truck balance and the centre of gravity. Also lowering and lightening of the body structure, modifying our cooling system and other little details have had an impact. There are so many changes that it’s basically a new truck,” said Aleš Loprais ahead of his 14th Dakar Rally.
Praga V4S DKR uses an Iveco engine, which has almost 1,000 bhp. The team had to pay close attention not just to the technical specifications, but also to serviceability.
“We have a really decent engine that’s not overpowered. That’s not our target. The only important thing is torque and how you can use it. Having a less-powerful car means having less heat, which means also better reliability and a chance that the car survives longer,” said the 39-year-old racing driver.
Advantages: Automatic Gearbox and Suspension
The team had its first tests at the beginning of the November and the results were positive. Already the first drive showed how big advantage is to have the automatic gearbox and also the modified suspension.
“I was expecting the most from the automatic gearbox and yet, it was even better! And there was also a nice surprise to see what we were able to achieve with the modified suspension,” said Loprais about the work of his teammates.
“The automatic gearbox works great. For the first time ever, I was really enjoying the drive in a truck and all I need to do is to adjust the ‘course‘. And the truck’s stability makes it even nicer. I really like how the truck is handling banking. It is not so easy to put it on two wheels anymore.”
Backed by The Factory Team
Nowadays, it is impossible to run a top motorsport team without a solid technical and financial backing. It comes as no surprise that Instaforex Loprais Team was also trying to secure a proper factory backing, enjoyed by the biggest Dakar teams.
“In Dakar, who wants to be in front, they must have at least partial factory backing. After Dakar 2019 I tried to contact many partners. I’m glad that it was Praga who presented the best kind of offer in the end. We’re sticking with a Czech brand that has been around since 1907 and still has something to offer. Praga is working on many interesting projects, in the aviation industry or super sports cars. We might not have a typical assembly production line behind us, but we have certain technologies that we would not be able to have otherwise. And who knows, maybe we can work together and even make a successor to the legendary Praga V3S,” said Loprais.
Instaforex Loprais Team plans to do more testing in the following weeks across Europe. That is a change from the initial plan, in which the team was supposed to compare old and new technologies on the Arabian Peninsula.
“I really wanted to test the truck in the sand and dunes, because I was a bit worried about the gearbox. However, following the positive experience in the first tests, we’ve decided to change our strategy. We want to focus on finishing all the little details in the workshop, that also matters. Even some smallest holders can become a big problem at Dakar, so we are focused on improving clamps, end pieces, tubes, all kind of details,” added Aleš Loprais.
Meet the Team
Fans will get a special opportunity to meet the Instaforex Loprais Team on Friday, November 29 at the team’s headquarters in Frenštát pod Radhošt?m. On that day, from 14:00, there will be an official but informal gathering as the team will prepare on its way to France for technical and administrative scrutineering.
The Dakar Rally 2020 starts on Sunday, January 5 in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The race ends on January 17 in a brand-new modern centre Al Qiddiya. The whole route is about 9,000 kilometres long.
Driving Praga V4S DKR, Aleš Loprais will be joined by a navigator Khalid Al-Kendi from the United Arab Emirates and a Czech mechanic Petr Pokora.
Dakar Rally 2017 is a tough challenge both for racers and trucks. The route will stretch across Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina. The famous large-scale rally kicks off on January 2 in Asuncion and comes to an end on January 14 in Buenos Aires. InstaForex Loprais Team will traditionally take part in the Dakar adventure.
This year, our team headed by Ales Loprais is going to compete on Tatra Phoenix, the new state-of-the-art truck, specially designed for the off-road rally. The other good news is that Ales Loprais and Martin Kolomy combined their efforts under a new joint venture called InstaForex Tatra Buggyra Racing Formation. They have already passed several test drives in Slovakia and Hungary. Mechanical fine-tuning included adjustment of shock absorber settings, replacement of truck’s electronics, and installation of a new turbocharged engine.
A lot of trucks will drop out of the race. With Tatra Phoenix, our team gains an advantage in speed. Competitors will face severe obstacles along the route to Buenos Aires. For example, in Bolivia the trucks will have to overcome the high altitude dunes at around 3,500 meters. Both racers and mechanics will have to test their endurance.
The odds are that Ales Loprais and Martin Kolomy will showcase their racing skills in tandem and reach the final destination.
One month is left before the major event among rally adventures. Our team with their Tatra Phoenix is already half-way to Paraguay. They are anticipating a 12-day off-road race across impassable routes of South America.
Follow the updates of Dakar Rally 2017 and root for InstaForex Loprais Team!