Great dynamic stage
2017. July 10. 17:17
The Balázs Szalay – László Bunkoczi pair had a great and dynamic day. This was the first real long and measured selective (329,25 km) of the Silk Way Rally, which was completed by the field yet in Russia, before entering the Kazakh border. The real difficulty of the stage was navigation, tracks lead to everywhere and the co-pilots had do read out loud a whole book, they kept talking all the way long. And the drivers had to process all that information what was also a demanding task. By the end they were both tired. The Opel Dakar Team’s pair finished on the 16th place and moved forward in the overall to the 11th position. 

 “We had a great day” stated the Opel Mokka’s pilot, Balázs Szalay. Finally, the ground was not muddy, we only had to be careful at the water crossings. Basically, I put my foot on the gas pedal at the start and took it off at the end. We were driving in woods, on the steppes, up to mounts and down, and in front of lots of spectators at some parts. We did not have real adventures, we overtook and were overtaken, it was like the shooting range near Veszprém, but much longer. Our overall position is great, we are moving ahead and the really hard stages are still ahead. We should avoid making mistakes.” 

What does the co-pilot have to say about this stage? László Bunkoczi admitted, that he got relieved, when we spotted the last page in the itinerary. “It was a hard day, I had to read out loud almost a whole book. There were some event on the course at every one-hundred meters in average. Track here, track there, ditches, turns, water crossings. The dangerous places were often marked too, so it was good to know where we are on the course exactly. I was relieved, when we arrived to the finish, I got mentally exhausted, that I had to concentrate continuously through almost four hours.”
The other Hungarian unit of the Silk Way Rally, The Miklós Kovács – Péter Czeglédi – László Ács truck trio finished on the 11th place in their category and waits for the next race day from the tenth position after a dynamic and enjoyable day. They had a shower (just to keep in mind what it’s like) in the middle of the stage, there they switched to cautious tempo, because their main goal was not to make mistakes. 

Stage 3., Ufa - Kostanaj (total distance: 876.39 km, electives: 329.25 km). Cars: 1. Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena  (France, Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi) 3:10:44, 2. Peterhansel, Cottret (France,  Peugeot 3008 DKR) 4:34 minutes disadvantage, 3. Zhou Yong, Maimon (China, Toyota Hilux)  14:19 m d., 16. Balázs Szalay, László Bunkoczi (Hungary, Opel Mokka) 42:29 m d. Trucks: 1. Sergej Vjazovic, Pavel Haranin, Andrej Zihulin  (Belaroussia, MAZ) 3:33:15, 2. Kolomy, Stross, Ernst (Czech Republic, Tatra) 55 seconds disadvantage, 3. Van Genugten, Alcarna, Der Kinderen (Neatherlands, Spain, Neatherlands,  Iveco) 3:39 m d., 11. Miklós Kovács, Péter Czeglédi, László Ács (Hungary,  Scania) 30:40 m d. 
Overall. Cars: 1. Sébastien Loeb 5:45:34,  2. 2. Peterhansel 3:15 m d., 3. Despres 17:12 m d., ...11. Szalay 1:33:39 h d. Trucks: 1. Martin Kolomy 6:45:07, 2. Sibalov, Mokejev, Nikitin (Russia, Kamaz) 2:40 m d., 3. Sotnikov, Ahmagejev, Mustafin (Russia, Kamaz) 5:
 13 m d., ...10.  Miklós Kovács 1:13:20 h d.

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