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Budapest-Bamako: Navigation, navigation, navigation...

The 2nd stage from Foum Zgid to Assa on Thursday after the harder previous day was a bit easier. Although again there were 450 kilometres to cover, only the two thirds of it were to drive completely offroad. Some parts were old Dakar tracks on which sometimes the white markings still were visible – the Moroccans wanted to make it easier for the Dakar crews. As typical in Morocco, the track lead through wide mountain scenes with stony surface, mostly fast to drive and without particular problems.

The challenge was once again the navigation, which was sometimes really tricky. That’s why it could happen that the competitors met at a point – coming from all possible directions. And funny, but they went on also in different directions... On this stage it become visible that first of all touristic drivers started on this rally. The ’pros’ watched with a slight smile how the rookies can’t find the right way even at the most obvious marks. How did they have the idea to drive exactly in the opposite direction than GPS point, will remain their secret...

It is also interesting to see how the field diifferentiates – and which cars are in the lead. Often they are not the fastest vehicles, but those drivers who are more talented. The time result is only subsidiary at the Budapest-Bamako, only the prescripted times have to be respected.

On the top the ranking after two stages with no surprise is a pro driver – and, like at the Dakar, with a Volkswagen Touareg. The Dresden-Breslau expert Attila Nagy (Team Lila Q) is among the fastest drivers, even if they are three in the car and take the rally only as a new experience. Together with Andras Lehr and Robert Orban they change the driver’s seat among themselves.

The second is currently occupied by a Nissan Patrol with four people on board: Laszlo Tempfli, Viktoria Tempfli, Istvan Kern and Tamas Novak, while in third position is the Nissan Navara of Csaba Kiss and Tibor Kerekes, also from Hungary.

The Friday stage will be difficult again. 395 kilometres on the agenda, with the finish in the town of Smara in Western Sahara. The track promises to be demanding – also the route of the Dakar lead here. As the route leads near some mine fields, the teams have to drive along the prescribed route very precisely and reach the camp before dusk. Also because the risk of mines, those who can’t finish by then, have to stop at dusk wherever they are and stay there until sunrise. Teams arriving in the camp after dusk will incur penalties.

2009/01/23 | 01:23 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Rita Konya

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