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Baja Eurocarpartica: Hungarian Szalay Opel-Team leads.

The Baja Eurocarpatica began on Saturday in Romania that is hosted by Tirgu Lapus differently from the traditions of the previous years. At the briefing after the scrutineerings the director of the rally, Peter Faluvagi warned the members about the difficulty of the field, and emphasized that there have never been harder race before in Hungarian cross country rally.

Only one stretch was prescribed for today and even that was reduced from 26,6 km to 11,44 km. The rains of the previous night completely soaked the second part of the course and the organizers did not want to take risk because of the hardened rescue opportunities. Finally, the weather justified their decision. After a shiny day the rain started to fall almost at the time of the start that gave quite a hard time for the back of the field. The drivers claimed the course to be extremely slippery, was loaded with huge gaps and watercourses that easily threw the cars. The deleted part of the original course became a liaison afterwards, so finally the connection turned out to be more challenging than the special itself.

"This race was completely different from the cross country events we are used to, I would rather compare it to a trial" summarized Balazs Szalay. "The average speed was very low, I went slowly too, this is why I did not figure to end up at the first place. But it seems that the others were cautious too. Our problems with the electronics fortunately ceased, the Opel is running perfectly and tomorrow we can set off from the very front."

The units of Ranai and Somfai were fighting with the elements too. When they got to the course they found very deep tracks on the road, they could hardly use other gear then three. They closed the day on the 12th and 13th place.

If we can trust the forecast, tomorrow we can expect dry weather. Today?s stretch will only be reinserted in Sunday?s program. Whether it will be the full length or just part of the course will return can only be decided later. On Saturday six selectives need to be completed on two alternating courses, a 15 km and a 30 km stretch. Mainly the courses are on rocky and pebbly terrain, which means that the mud fight will hopefully not be repeated.

2009/06/15 | 10:17 CET | Editor: MR/HS/

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