Aleš Loprais, závodník Rallye Dakar a synovec Karla Lopraise
Racer of the Dakar Rallye and nephew of Karel Loprais,
Interview with Aleš Loprais
Aleš Loprais follows his uncle’s example. He got behind the wheel of a racing Tatra truck for the first
time when he was seven, and joined his first Dakar Rally in 2006 as a navigator/co-driver with his
uncle, Karel Loprais. As a driver, he first went to the rally one year later, coming in third in trucks.
Aleš, in early 2020, you started the Dakar
Rally for the fifteenth time. You have
driven the truck across Africa, South
America, and Saudi Arabia. Where did
you enjoy racing the best, and what are
the key differences among the races in
length, severity, and safety?
I have enjoyed racing in Africa the best.
That is where we won our first medal the
first time I drove the racing truck. I still feel
Africa as being very special, because it was
my first new and beautiful experience in
the rally. You see the vast plains of sand
where a few trucks go speeding alongside
each other. Of course, there are locations
which do not allow this arrangement, such
as the rocky routes in Morocco, but still,
Africa offers some of the most fascinating
sandy plains. Just a small audience,
amazing desserts, sleeping out in tents and
a shower only once or twice a fortnight.
That was Africa.
The landscapes in Saudi Arabia look a bit
similar. We will see what the organizers
have in store for us in 2021. South
America, with its fantastic, kind people,
always willing to help. Wonderful scenery,
unexpected changes of terrain and
weather…it was a different Dakar, yet as
original as ever.
In truck racing, you are considered the
heir of the glory that comes with the name
Loprais. Do you feel the responsibility,
some obligation, to succeed?
This has been haunting me for some time,
yet I do not feel the pressure any more.
I admit that, with another name, I might
feel more relaxed and comfortable, but
then I must ask myself: would I have ever
even driven a Dakar racing truck at all…?
Now you drive a new truck. Can you
summarize how the racing trucks
have changed during your career from
a technical point of view?
I feel I have been present at Dakar from
childhood and have driven the greatest
range of competitor brands of Dakar
models amongst all the Dakar drivers.
To make a long story short, Dakar trucks
are GREAT rally vehicles with a truck body.
I am not sure if the development is positive
or negative, it is just the way it is.
Thank you for the interview.
POSITIV 4/2020 ǀ 115