2017. July 09. 14:47
The Balázs Szalay – László Bunkoczi pair finished the Silk Way Rally Cheboksary – Ufa stage on the 12th position and moved seven
position forward in the overall to the 13th place. Today’s stage was not at all easy, very narrow and demanding at certain parts. It was very tricky, though it lead through wide fields, but the ‘brave’ ones could easily fell into ditches if strayed from the selected path.
And if this was not enough adventure for one day…it was rainig…again. “It was a very hard day. It wore me out
mentally, because we struggled a lot. We kept sliding from left to right and from right to left. I could not rest for a moment because I had to keep counter steering” said the pilot of the Opel Mokka, Balázs Szalay. “The truth is that we did not have the right tires for this mud sea. The organizers prescribed a curvy and technical course through woods and wide open fields, even three creek crossings were on the route. In one of the creeks, one fan out of the two stopped, but fortunately it was not too hot, so it did not make any bigger trouble. On this days we could not go any faster. Each and every turn was an adventure in itself, and when I saw the cars and trucks in the ditch made me more cautious. It is always rewarding to be cautious at the beginning of such long distance races, it helps in the end. This stage had many ‘victims’, although it was only 157 kilometers long, but very tricky.”
“These conditions were brutal” confirmed László Bunkoczi.” From navigational aspect, the hardest was to tell where we are exactly. After a while, I could hardly see anything from the mud on the windscreen. Additionally, due to constant
sliding the meter counter showed 17 kilometers more by the end of the stage, that it should have. There were many dangerous places. Among all these unreal conditions this place is not that bad, indeed, this is only the beginning.” Well, this is true. The field only completed 1512 kilometers out of the total 9599.
The other Hungarian unit racing on the Silk Way Rally, the Miklós Kovács – Péter Czeglédi – László Ács
trio also struggled hard on this day. It is even harder to cross the narrow, curvy stretches with a giant truck, but finally they finished this hard stage on the 15th place and has the same 13th position in the overall, just like Szalay and Bunkoczi.
SILK WAY RALLY
Stage 2., Cheboksary - Ufa (total distance: 785.63 km,
selectives: 157 km). Cars: 1. Stéphane Peterhansel, Jean-Paul Cottret (France, Peugeot 3008 DRK) 1:51:00, 2. Despres, Castera (France, Peugeot 3008 DKR) 1:47 m d., 3. Loeb, Elena (France, Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi) 1:48 m d., ...12. Balázs Szalay, László Bunkoczi (Hungary, Opel Mokka) 41:26 m d. Trucks: 1. Maarten van den Brink, Rijk Mouw, Daniel Kozlovsky (Netherlands, Renault) 2:19:45, 2. de Rooy, Torrallardona, Rodewald (Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Iveco) 2:04 m d., 3. Ardavicius, Bruynkens, Huisman (Kazakhstan, Belgium, Belgium, Iveco) 3:17 m d., 15. Miklós Kovács, Péter Czeglédi, László Ács (Hungary, Scania) 1:28:34 h d.
Overall. Cars: 1. Stéphane Peterhansel 2:33:31, 2. Loeb 1:19 m d., 3. Despres 3:32 m d., ...13. Szalay 58:39 m Trucks: 1. Maarten van den Brink 3:05:20, 2. De Rooy 13 s d., 3. Ardavicius 1:31 m d., ...13. Kovács 1:33:21 h d.
This was tough
Balázs Szalay and László Bunkoczi in the top ten after another rainy day on the Silk Way Rally