One of the most famous rally drivers in history is dead! As the Czech state television reported on Thursday, Karel Loprais died at the age of 72. He would have celebrated his 73rd birthday in March. In May 2011 he became the government commissioner for road safety. In 1986 it celebrated its premiere at the Dakar Rally. Two years later he achieved his first victory. He achieved all of his successes in the legendary Tatra trucks. Loprais completed his last race in 2006, but did not finish there.
Loprais started 17 times in the Dakar Rally. He had six victories (1988, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2001). Loprais achieved second place four times ((1987, 1996, 2000 and 2002) and third place once (1992). In an interview with the Czech portal “isport.cz” in January, “Monsieur Dakar” remembered his last victory 20 years ago : “People still recognize me. So the footsteps that I left at the Dakar Rally are still big. It will stay that way for some time,” said Loprais.
The racing tradition is continued by his nephew Ales Loprais, who is also a successful rally driver. The exact circumstances of his death are not known.