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Central Europe Rally Special-Newssection (1st round Dakar-Series 2008)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Central Europe Rally 2008, the first round of the new Dakar-Series. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Central Europe Rally: A family reunion on the banks of the Danube.

It was as if there was a scent of Lisbon in the streets of Budapest and especially around the Heroes' Square where the scrutineering enclosure is situated for this first Central Europe Rally. For all the competitors, the first day of this event, dedicated as is customary to administrative and technical verifications, was first and foremost a much awaited opportunity to get back together with the extended rally-raid family that was abruptly separated on the eve of the Dakar 2008.

Already deprived of the dessert, the competitors were also and perhaps especially missing the "atmosphere of the Dakar", this indescribable alchemy of anecdotes told a thousand times at the bivouac, laughter, last minute emergency repairs and reunions between old racing rivals. So, it was with a glint in the eye and visible pleasure that the professionals and amateurs came back together this Saturday on the banks of the Danube, as if to carry on the discussions halted at the verifications for the Dakar last January.

However, this day of checks was also, perhaps first and foremost, the opportunity for everyone to get a better grasp of Central Europe's passion for motor-sports. The least we can say is that the Hungarians' enthusiasm was worthy of the event. Braving the morning rain, the inhabitants of Budapest rushed in their thousands to watch the spectacle of the verifications and rub shoulders for a short while with the competitors and their machines.

With the verifications complete, a caravan of 238 vehicles, including 96 motorbikes, 18 quads, 84 cars and 40 trucks, will set off tomorrow from the Heroes' Square for the first stage which will take the competitors into Romania, and more precisely to Baia Mare in the Carpathian Mountains.

2008/04/19 | 23:42 CET | Editor: MR/HS/ASO

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