Day-off spent with servicing

Members of the Szalay Dakar Team are spending their day-off with service, they are trying to get the race vehicles into the best shape as possible, as usual from them. drivers still in competition had a tough day on Saturday. They arrived to camp from the stiff and technology-damanding stage only at night, therefore day-off came extremely handy for them.

Balázs Szalay, László Bunkoczi (Opel Frontera, 52nd overall)
We had to start off with a rocky stage from Atar to Nouakchott, where a rock hit the back differential and oil started dripping. We could struggle through the dunes somehow and in the meantime have seen the stuck Schlesser Buggies, few BMWsand one of Mitsubishi, Kamaz and Tatra trucks. It was quite a parade among the dunes and we could be happy for getting away with just standing an hour and a half. Which wasn't fair in fact was that the oganizers' helicopter landed after the first fifty cars in front of the dunes and diverted the competitors. It wasn't so just because the rest of them did not have to pass the toughest bunch of dunes, this way the rest of the Hungarian units ,either. Also, it was a matter of chance that we found CP2, since we noticed the helicopter above it. Hundred and ten kilometers before finish we were totally out of oil and the car just stopped. We got the stub axles out together with the cardan-shaft and tried to take the rest of the track with front-wheel drive. We got stuck several times and near the finish Zsolt Darázsi ended up pulling us in. before finish he pulled us up onto a hill twice so that the car could cross the finishline by its own force, according to rules. It is good to be here finally, we are spending day-off with repairing the car, the guys will renew the car totally, so we can go on tomorrow with renewed force as well.

Ákos Varga (KTM, 84th overall)
Saturday was a relatively easy day compared to the one before, it was full of fast sections and led through dunes and rocky stages. I held a charitable day today, I gave parts to repairing chains at the 80th kilometer, and at the 200th I gave a service iron to another person because they had a puncture. The toughest was the end of the stage, we could hardly find the second fuel zone. bikers were coming from all directions so around thirteen of us got together. Then we noticed a beduin tent, we showed the route book and asked them for help in which direction to continue, but there was nothing in the direction they sent us. I haven't seen such a chaos before. I don't know how but finally we did find the ominous point and could continue. It is a good thing to have a rest day for today, at least we can have a rest and put the bike into shape, too.

Zsolt Darázsi, Norbert Szalai, György Rack (MAN, 17th overall)
Normally there are no technological problems with the truck, but yesterday it wasn't so. We got a puncture right at the beginning, so that we even left the edge of the tyreplate, even the spare leafspring. After this we lost the clutch, the gear-shift got half-torn, and at least fifteen of us gathered until we finally found CP2. As a dessert we noticed that Balázs and Laci are in trouble, too, so we again stopped for a while.

-szalay-