Dakar

Martin Macik Jr. on Dakar truck speed reduction for 2025: “We’re racing, we want to be the fastest”

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Credit: Jennifer Lindini/ASO

The Truck category will be a bit slower for the 2025 Dakar Rally as the Amaury Sport Organisation has reduced their top speed from 140 km/h to 135 km/h on safety grounds. Needless to say, defending class winner Martin Macík Jr. is not too happy with this development.

Speaking with TV Nova during the 2025 Dakar Rally presentation in Prague, Macík stressed the rule change “bothers me, period. We have to do something about it. Whether it’s the speed or the starting position or so on, it’s not pleasant when you just throw us backwards.”

Despite their massive size, trucks currently go up to 140 km/h, third fastest behind the 170 km/h of the Ultimate and Stock categories. On the other hand, Challenger is slightly slower at 135 km/h while SSV is capped at 125 km/h. The T5.2 subcategory for assistance trucks can only go 125 km/h since they are not intended to be competing.

Macík pointed out that the ASO was likely dissatisfied with seeing the faster trucks catch up with the side-by-side vehicles of Challenger and SSV. But one thing that really annoyed him about the change is that “the organiser didn’t discuss this with us.”

To further make the race safer for different classes in 2025, the ASO will have the trucks take a different route from cars and bikes (each also going their own way) for one of the stages.

“We’re racing, we want to be the fastest. What bothers me the most is the fact that it’s actually at the behest of SSVs, which have a speed limit of 135 km/h,” he continued. “They complained that it’s dangerous that we were overtaking them, and because we were going 140 km/h, we could pass them on the straight. For us, this is liberating because we get them in those sections where they are extremely slow little wheels. It’s logical that we are faster than them; their small wheels, we have big wheels. We pass them and then disappear because five kilometres per hour is a big difference.

“Well, it bothers them and they say it’s dangerous. Overtaking is not entirely easy, but I want to race.”

In January, Macík won four stages en route to his maiden Dakar win in the Truck class. He plans to defend his title in a new truck.

The 2025 Dakar Rally begins on 3 January.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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