Step behind the scenes: WRC Week at the eyes of Martin Prokop

The team around Martin Prokop, the best Czech rider, is about twelve to fifteen. The Jipocar ​​Czech National Team – most of the five members fly to the airplane, the rest of them have to be on the road. From the weekly roundabout, for a number of stable members, there is a much longer journey to make.

But we will approach Prokop.The 35-year-old Jihlava rider, who is the only regular participant in the World Championship in Automobile Competitions in the Czech Republic, has exclusively described how his seven days look at the WRC races.


The opening day of the championship, which is occasionally Sunday, is testing the race car.The team rents a stretch of three to five kilometers long and tries to find the best setting from morning to evening. “The World Championships are going all over the globe, and in each country there is a specific surface and a specific character of the track that can not be tested anywhere else than there,” Prokop tells.

Most of all, according to Jihlava, There are small details on it that make the car change fundamentally as it works on the track itself. For a layman, it might be a detail that you only change a little bit, but for me it’s really a big change in the sense of driving. “

The chassis tries to tune in grip depending on the country’s track. “Maybe in Finland there is a fast track with little grip. Then you will arrive in Sardinia, where there is a broken track with relatively good grip.And there’s another chassis, another suspension, another shock absorber setting. That’s what’s going on, “says the Czech racer.

It’s the time spent on the track, it’s not the other day.


Next day off. Or call him a day without a long sitting in the car. Even today, Prokop can not throw his legs on the table and watch the whole afternoon on television, although the program is not so demanding. The Czech rider is running for a “free day” for a while, then for a moment he is training. “I need the body to keep pace. The physiotherapist is trying to get me into the races, namashirovat, because then the program is very demanding for the body. “

Generally, athletes are very happy to put a bike ride back into the regeneration phase.However, Prokop refuses: “I do not go to him like this at the races, because it hurts his butt. And when you spend a few hours in the car on the back, it’s better to do something else. “


Opportunity to get on the track. Competitors have the option to run the bicycle only twice. As Prokop tells, everyone is constantly watched over GPS navigation.If someone wants to break the rules and run the bike three times, they are immediately expelled from the race.

When starting the race, competitors can only go at a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour, which is half the speed they are driving

“We are making a list with our co-driver, and we try to record the track in the notes,” Prokop commented on the co-operation with Jan Tománek and continues: “It must be described in detail, on the other hand the problem is speed.The racing car is flying terribly, and colleague could not do anything to teach, and I would not be able to do anything. “

So he’s trying to balance between what can be said and what Prokop is trying to absorb. “Mostly you describe the bends and the distance between them, that’s the most important thing. You need to know where you are going. If I can go to the left, right. Of course, I would like to describe this much more, but especially in the WRC category it is not as fast as it is, “he explains.

“At first I dictate, with my second colleague and I make corrections if necessary.It may happen that at first I say that it is the right six, but in the second one I will: Aha, more likely the right five, “explains Prokop and talks about the number of rounds:” The two passes are few.In addition, you are driving at a limited speed, so you have to worry too much about what’s ahead of you. “

When you get back to teamwork when you get back to the team, Prokop has so much unpopular part of watching the video. “I really do not like that,” he says. “What I’ve gone through twice, I’m still on the video to have a passage to the good, put it in my memory, and I’m sure I did not make a mistake.”

This day is very demanding To the racer’s body. “He usually gets up around six o’clock, training starts at about eight and ends around sixth to eighth. You’re in the car all day, you’re tired. And I have to watch the video tonight. It’s quite a lot of information, and a lot of people get tired of it.That’s why the video really does not belong to my favorite phases. “


Testing stages are running on the fourth day of the week. “It is normally in the closed section, usually about four to five kilometers, the time is measured, there are spectators there. It also tries to test whether the car works and adjusts the last setting. Basically, it’s such a preparation for a sharp start. “

In the afternoon, the contestants devote themselves to the audience, for example, at signing events, taking pictures or helping out good things. “And then there is a festive start, which is usually in a nice place,” continues Prokop.


It’s here! Finally, racing days come.In the first two rides – as Prokop says, I do not see until I can see, then Sunday ends in the afternoon. However, the program is the same, so let’s sum up one such day from start to finish.

A wagon has a car racer around 5 am. “I’m trying to stay in bed for the last minute, but I can not afford to put it off because I have to get started in time,” she smiles. “I only have breakfast in the form of a protein shak, because this morning I am not able to swallow anything.”

Then the car gets stuck with the eyes closed. “We have fifteen minutes for a service to wear the right tires,” he says.During this time Prokop takes his physiotherapist into his hands. “He has such a favorite set to try and wake me up because it’s very difficult at six in the morning.” It will take fifteen minutes to move to the tracks. On the way, Prokop listens to music to awaken him even more.

That there are speed tests that have a certain length. Some are fifteen kilometers long, some forty.These are usually three to four in the morning, “the Czech rider outlines some of the rules.

When he returns to the service facility, he has an hour’s pause. “I’ll have a quick lunch, something must be light, maybe a risotto to keep it and spend it. Less than twenty minutes later, the physiotherapist has to compare me and put together a sore body. “By the way, Prokop carries his races to his races and praises it very much,” It’s great he’ll make me a light meal , The boys are Czech classics and they are all satisfied. It can be seen when the guys are well-grown. That’s what we’ve done. “

In the afternoon, there are more erzets. The evening is followed by a 45-minute service and Prokop discusses a racing day with a technical engineer.For this time limit, a car can be said to do virtually anything. However, it may happen that something will not work, then the time draws and the competitor is penalized. “For mechanics, it’s just the same fight as for me. Their performance is the same as my own, “Prokop says. At ten o’clock he will have dinner, but he has no more thoughts. The only thing to do is to be in bed. At half-time, the physiotherapist reassembles him so that the next day the body is not afraid. In the morning it starts all over again.

When the race ends on Sunday, the harvesting phase comes.In the evening, as soon as it’s over, he’s going to sit down for a beer to calm down and stress free the races.

On Monday, part of the team will fly, others spend another hour on the road Truck.

But in the Czech Republic, they park in garages for only a few days. Soon they will go abroad again. To be part of the weekly roundabout…