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

Budapest-Bamako: Experiment of a special rally raid.

We were warned previously: “Budapest-Bamako” is not a ‘normal’ rally raid. Moreover, it is more like a fun event for worn-out vehicles. Well this was the case last year and still is this year in the Tourist category. But after the cancellation of the Dakar 2008 and then it’s ‘exile’ to South America, Budapest-Bamako grew so quickly that organizer Andrew Gál set up a ‘Racing’ and a Tourist’ category with different routes. The Tourists drive on tarmac roads while the ‘Pros’ in the middle of nowhere.

But organiser Gál didn’t won’t a ‘normal’ rally raid, he wanted something special. Something, which has the spirit of discovery, solidarity, celebration and the reaching of one’s limits in the focus. At the same time he wants to minimize the chance of accidents – so he set up a rather special evaluation system. “I want the participants to stop and get out of the car”, he says.

Instead of the normal evaluation system based on time, he we have a point system which is based on the points that the competitors get for the solving of the different tasks. The teams could collect points already in Hungary – but this was not compulsory. Those who have time here and take all the tasks seriously, can gain some advantage already in this early phase of the race. But most of the crews wait for Africa, they don’t want to risk anything in Europe.

For example, a task can be to find hidden numbers, tasks or GPS-points. The participants must leave their cars at the last possible place and have to solve the task on foot with the help of the GPS.

“This has many advantages. A) we reduce the speed, B) the competitors are not so tired, and C) we balance the chances. For examplea Volkswagen Race Touareg here could not score a point with only speed”, explains organizer Andrew Gál his uncommon strategy.

Gál would like to improve his rally, sees the chances what he has in Africa after the ‘escape’ of the Dakar. If Africa he has a very good reputation, first of all because “BB” brings a lot of money into the countries crossed. “Our rally is also a charity rally”, explains Andrew. A whole truck (and a quite big one!) is full with the donations collected by the teams.

“Last year we collected donation in worth of more than 700.000 Euros, this year it will even be more.” It’s no miracle that the authorities of the countries crossed treat the rally caravan in such a cooperative way that the Dakar couldn’t achieve in 30 years…

Take our reports from ‘Budapest-Bamako’ as a kind of ‘experiment’. We have to get acquainted with the functioning of this rally and how could it achive such a big rise in so little time. Please lean back and enjoy a very special rally, where the sporting aspect is only second in the order!

2009/01/19 | 02:32 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Rita Konya

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