2017. July 13. 15:00
River crossing, on a bridge and without it. The Balázs Szalay – László Bunkoczi pair had both on the Thursday stage They finished
on the 14th position on the Semej – Urdsar stage and are 11th on the overall rank list.
Though the selective was rather long, 387 kilometers, it was no big deal, indeed, the Opel Dakar Team’s pair really enjoyed it. “The first three hundred kilometers were quite fast, then we
arrived to a mountain path, which was sinuous and slowed our tempo, but had great rhythm” said Balázs Szalay. “It was raining again, but this timer there wasn’t mud after. Indeed, we were driving in dust almost all the way long. This caused difficulty a few times, when we had to overtake a truck. We could not see anything in its dust cloud. After the second dust could we had to cross two rivers. There was a bridge on the first but there wasn’t on the second. Or, there was, but something broke it into pieces, we had to find an alternative solution to cross it. We headed to the right, and right again, and right again, but it was impossible to cross, the water level was very high, so we turned back. Laci got out, and found a place, where the water was relatively shallow and the other side was not very steep either. In such cases we have to be cautious, because the car can get stuck on the river bank. It was close, but we managed to get out.”
A great ditch was not marked in the itinerary and they landed in it with great speed,
first the car fell to its nose, then to its back, but luckily they got away. Their guardian angel was securing their way, they stayed on their ‘feet’ and that was important. The organizers prescribed a very detailed course, what is great on one hand, but dangerous on the other, because it causes great surprise, if something is missing from the road book, for example that certain ditch” reported László Bunkoczi. Apart from this, we did not get into any risky situation, from co-pilot’s point of view all the other days were harder.
The other Hungarian unit, the Miklós Kovács, Péter Czeglédi, László Ács trio competing in the truck field ended up on the 12th place and keeps firmly the eighth position in the overall.
SILK WAY RALI
Stage 6. Semej - Urdsar (total distance: 597.13 km, selevctive: 387.86 km). Cars: 1. Stéphane Peterhansel, Jean-Paul Cottret (France, Peugeot 3008 DKR) 3:16:06, 2. Loeb, Elena (France, Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi) 15:28 m d., 3. Han Wei, Min Liao (China, Geely SMG Buggy) 16:19 m d., ...14. Balázs Szalay, László Bunkoczi (Hungary, Opel Mokka) 46:09 m d. Trucks: 1. Eduard Nikolajev, Jevgenij Jakovlev, Vladimir Ribakov (Russia, Kamaz) 3:38:38, 2. Kolomi, Stross, Ernst (Czech Republic, Tatra) 39 sec d., 3. Sotnikov, Ahmagejev, Mustafin (Russia, Kamaz) 5:13 m d., ...12. Miklós Kovács, Péter Czeglédi, László Ács (Hungary, Scania) 2:06:4 h d. Overall. Cars: 1. Sébastien Loeb 17:16:24, 2. Despres, Castera (Peugeot 3008 DKR) 1:03:41 h d., 3. Menzies, Mortensen (USA, Mini) 1:30:12 h d., ...11. Balázs Szalay 3:26:58 h d. Trucks: 1. Dmitrij Szotnyikov 19:09:17, 2. Sibalov, Mokejev, Nikitin (Russia, Kamaz) 2:12 m d., 3.
Kolomy 12:53 m d., ...8. Miklós Kovács 5:03:58 h d.
Szalay’s team on the 40th Dakar Rally!
Team’s co is Hungarian rally champion
Hungaroring Classic: The countdown has started