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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: Sahara Rally now endorsed by Hungarian Government.

Despite recent rumors, the Budapest-Bamako will start from the Hungarian capital in 2009. Over 560 teams indicated interest in the 2009 run, while 180 teams have already joined next year’s lineup. With the ever-growing popularity of the grueling, two week long rally, the Hungarian government has offered its endorsement to the event. Both the Ministry of Local Governments and Regional Development and the Foreign Ministry have assured organizers of their support. "The Budapest-Bamako is an outstanding initiative, which is capable of enhancing our country’s reputation. In its own right, it can’t even compare to the Dakar Rally", said Istvan Ujehlyi undersecretary of the Ministry Of Local Governments and Regional Development.

Often mentioned as the spiritual heir to the Dakar Rally, the 2009 run will be tougher and more complex. For the first time the run will take place on two different routes. Those in the touring category will follow a simpler, but more entertaining route. "Racing teams demanded more challenging conditions, while touring category teams wanted a lighter, more relaxing experience", said the creator of the event Andrew G. Szabo. Teams in both categories will leave from Budapest on January 17 and cross the finish line together 15 days later.

The racing category will traverse through rocky pistes of Morocco, golden sand dunes of Mauritania and red clay roads of Mali before arriving in Bamako. Apart from a 300km paved liason stage, teams will have to drive on sand- and dirt roads from the Moroccan-Mauritanian border to Bamako. "The Dakar left us a very big shoe to fill. It’s an honor to continue their traditions", added Mr. Szabo.

In spite of the enhanced racing category and increased professionalism of the rally, organizers added a new category to preserve the founding spirit of the Great African Run. The Bamako Spirit category will allow 20 teams to join free of charge. These teams must travel in cheap, old or otherwise amusing vehicles. By bringing exceptional amounts of humanitarian aid, teams can also join Spirit category. Applications can be submitted in the form of a 2 minute video.

In its fourth year, the Budapest-Bamako is now both the largest Trans-Saharan race and the largest charity rally in Africa. This year over half a million Euro’s worth of goods and services were donated to communities in Mauritania and Mali by the 400 participants. The event is the brainchild of Hungarian internet entrepreneur, Andrew G. Szabo who launched the rally after not being able to find an affordable alternative to the Dakar. For more information visit the official website [ ]

Budapest-Bamako 2009

Start: 2009. January 17. Budapest
Finish: 2009. January 31. Bamako

Distance: 8314km

Daily Stages:
Budapest - Brescia: 851 km
Brescia - Merzouga: 2621 km
(3 day super marathon)
Merzouga - Foum Zgid: 410 km
Foum Zgid - Tadalt: 450 km
Tadalt - Smara: 437 km
Smara - Tropic Of Cancer: 770 km
TOC - Bou Lanoar: 370 km
Bou Lanoar - Atar: 480 km
Atar - Tidjikja: 450 km
Tidjikja - Kiffa: 400 km
Kiffa - Korera Kore: 450 km
Korera Kore - Banamba: 375 km
Banamba - Bamako: 250 km

2008/03/13 | 20:47 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Budapest-Bamako

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