Dakar: Szalay stage 13 report

Szalay enjoyed the stage The Zsolt Darazsi - Norbert Szalai - Gyorgy Rack trucker crew was still out on the track at 8pm, however were driving at good speed towards the finish, meaning that they handled the consequences of losing their brake ...

Szalay enjoyed the stage

The Zsolt Darazsi - Norbert Szalai - Gyorgy Rack trucker crew was still out on the track at 8pm, however were driving at good speed towards the finish, meaning that they handled the consequences of losing their brake the previous day pretty well.The Balazs Szalay - Laszlo Bunkoczi duo, and the mototrist of the team -- Akos Varga-- completed the day's 348-kilometer special before dark, and arrived to Senagal. Szalay and Bunkoczi are 29th, while Varga finished as 38th. They could move with elan at the beginning of the stage, but the middle was rather a trial track, not field rally. Car units had to struggle through the enormous rocks in 1st gear.

Balazs Szalay, Laszlo Bunkoczi (Opel Frontera, 29th, 30th overall)
It was a game of patience, I was trying to keep careful, too, because the ones not having done so were standing by the sides of the road. In one hour we could take a maximum of 10-20 kilometers on the rocks, it would have been dangerous to rush. These weren't the toughest moments, however, but the ones when at a kid ran across the road in front of me. Locals were playing with running over from one side of the road to the other before the cars. The problem with this was that they couldn't estimate with what speed we were coming. At one occasion I had to press the brake to the maximum, the car was sliding on the road, we almost fell over. I'd rather fall over though, than not save the kid. Luckily we stayed on four wheels and the kid ran away too, but for a moment my heart stopped. Otherwise the stage was real fun.

Akos Varga (KTM, 38th, 61st overall)
I really wouldn't mind if we were already in Dakar, but I will handle the next two days easily. It wasn't the stage that exhausted me, but the sizzling heat that has been for days now. At kilometer 13 I've seen the leader biker among the ladies, Ludivine Puy, lying on the road, which made me be even more careful. Despite this I slipped twice, both at a river-crossing. I almost made it out of the water when at the mossy, slimy bank I slipped with the KTM and fell into the water. However there is something good in all the bad things, at least for half an hour I had no problem with the heat after bathing. Three kilometers before the finish a rock unhooked my chain, but I got it back on. Luckily I had no other troubles to deal with. I just can't wait for Sunday afternoon.

There are two days left from competition (744 kilometers overall), and only one of them on Saturday is a long one.

-szalay-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Akos Varga , Laszlo Bunkoczi , Balazs Szalay