Loprais? For all the Czechs at the bivouac a symbol of Dakar

Karel Loprais is the one who shaped the interest and fanfare for Dakar in Czechoslovakia. His first victory in 1988 underscored Jiří Moskal and his crew’s pioneering beginnings with Liaz, and five more victories followed. In total, he took nineteen starts in what is the toughest marathon rally in the world. And its sixth-place finish in the absolute car/truck standings from 1994, when the race went from Paris to Dakar and back, is a fine thing that no truck has ever surpassed or surpassed.

No wonder his departure was also mentioned by the organizer of the competition. “Dakar pays tribute to one of its legends,” reads the Dakar Rally social media. “Karel Loprais, Monsieur Dakar, is a six-time truck winner (1988, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2001). RIP Karl.”

It makes sense that the first person I have to talk to at the King Abdullah Stadium bivouac is Aleš Loprais, his nephew. But honestly? I have been to Pragovka twice and for the first time I did not find the courage to ask. Aleš was sitting with his eyes closed and I just turned around and walked through the whole bivouac. The second time around, with everyone still interested, I went back to him and was genuinely glad the whole crew was gone. So I’m going to help you differently, I think you’ll understand me, I would just be a bad tabloid reporter.

“Uncle was a great role model to me first, then a teacher and partner when I was his navigator in 2006. He advised me later. He didn’t say much, but what he said was fine. He was the soul and the mascot of the team. Even though he no longer rode with us, he watched me behave well and continued to experience the Dakars as if he were racing alone. That’s a blow for us,” Aleš Loprais told Czech media.

And the other Czech competitors? The question was simple: “What comes to mind when you say the name Karel Loprais?”

Martin Prokop

“I immediately see the book L’Enfer which is called Paris – Algérie – Dakar. I had it in the chalet, there was a beautiful red Tatra on the cover and I wanted to race in Dakar once. I I was seven years old. Then, of course, I went to the rally and I had other idols and stars, but when I myself started racing in the Dakar, we met at a meeting champions and it was very nice. I want to thank him for doing a painstaking job for the whole Czech community and making Dakar famous in our country. He paved the way for all Czech competitors to reach the public and fans. His performance and performance amazed many people in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and now we try to follow them. Honor your memory of Monsieur Dakar!”

Photo: Tatras

Tatra from the title page of the book L’Enfer dit Paris – Algeria – Dakar

Josef Machacek

“Karel is for me and will be a person with whom my first big successes in quad are solidly linked. When his name is spoken, I have him not only as a symbol of Dakar, but also as a partner. He drove me gear, his boys helped me when needed, we spent a lot of time together. And there is no doubt that Loprais gave Dakar to all Czechs and Slovaks. I am sorry.”

Martin Macick

“I have the disadvantage of not knowing Karel Loprais personally. I was thirteen when my father took us to Senegal to Lac Rose and just welcomed us, there was no time for more. And then I had my father as a role model. For me, he was the hero who raced in Dakar and whom I admired. But it is clear that Karel Loprais clearly did the most work for the popularity of Dakar When his name is mentioned, all his achievements jump to my head. And that it was he who popularized trucks in the Czech Republic so much. Thanks to him, the Czechs have him in mind so much, and thanks to him we we can continue this, thanks to him we are now, with the Netherlands, one of the great powers of the race. This is very sad news, for us and especially at this moment, the atmosphere before the start does not will not be quite good now. I want to express my deepest condolences to all the family and all the school. team.”

Martin Michek

“The car. respective motorsport. I see him not only in connection with the Dakar, but also as a rider who managed to hoist the Czech flag very high on a world motorsport pole. It’s not just about how good the driver was, how many times the Dakar has been driven and how many times he managed to win it, but also how he behaved and how his opponents did perceived. The fact that the Czechs love and race the Dakar is clearly also because of him, but I am even more fascinated by the respect for the pilot and the personality throughout the peloton, as not only the rivals but also the organizers have spoken of. . »

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