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This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.









Budapest-Bamako: Amateur-Rally returns to African Sahara in 2010






Organizers unveiled the route of the 2010 Budapest-Bamako rally in the Hungarian capital this week. In its fifth year, the largest trans-Saharan rally will travel on an entirely new route from Budapest to Bamako. The simpler adventure (raid) category and the more demanding racing category will take separate tracks after crossing into Africa.

The competitive category will be about 8500 kilometers, while the adventure raid category will be 8283 kilometers. Both routes will take participants across breathtaking Saharan and sub-Saharan landscapes in Africa. Along the competition route the emphasis will be on driving technique, endurance, problem solving and navigation.

For the first time in the history of the rally, both categories will cross the Mediterranean in a chartered ferry. In Morocco race teams will have to negotiate the narrow, rocky and sometimes snowy dirt roads of the Sarhro Mountain from Tinerhir to Mhamid. The stage also features hard dirt tracks and stoney paths through Zagora. Teams will also have to complete speedy sections across the Iriki salt flats.

Classic desert driving awaits in the grueling Mhamid-Assa and Assa-Laayoune stages in Western Sahara. "We tried to design the road book in a way that it includes fast, tricky, demanding and stunningly beautiful sections", said Andras Polgar, co-director of next year's run.

Teams return to the golden sand dunes of Banc D'Arguin National Park in Mauritania famous for its rich wildlife. The Bou Lanoar-B2 Beach stage will be 280 kilometers of sand of varying density. Teams will spend the night at the legendary B2 Beach which has been officially named after the annual Budapest-Bamako bivouac set up on this virgin beach in Mauritania. "There is even a new map of Mauritania which marks this spot as B2 Beach on the Atlantic coast", said Andrew G. Szabo, founder of the rally.

On day twelve racing teams will have to traverse from the gorgeous oasis town of Nbeika to Kiffa along soft sand dunes and tire ripping, rocky tracks in the Sahara. The Kiffa-Ayoun el Atrous 280 km off-road special will be the last day in the desert.

In Mali classic savannah driving will take the place of the dunes. A surprising new stage of the rally will be the Sokolo-Katiena section on day sixteen. Teams will have to cross the largest river in West Africa, the Niger. The element of uncertainty will be the lack of bridges in this part of Mali. Teams will have to rely on their creativity and their ability to solve the water crossing. The rally will visit Djenne, a United Nations World Heritage site. One of the checkpoints of the rally will be here, in front of the world's largest building constructed of mud.

The Budapest-Bamako is the largest amateur rally in the world and the largest rally in Africa. It contains elements of cross country rallying and orienteering. Teams collect points for navigational challenges and completing the daily stages on time. The 2010 Budapest-Bamako will start from the Hungarian capital on January 16th and will end 17 days later in the capital of Mali. Up until this month 180 teams from 32 countries have entered the rally. "We hope that this will be the most exciting and most spectacular running of the Budapest-Bamako" - added Polgar.

2009/08/02 | 13:45 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Andras Polgar






















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