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





This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com 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: Premiere in the Capital of Hungary.






It almost appeared unrealistic: Never before an ASO rally started in such a harmonic, friendly and open way as the new "Central Europe Rally" on the 19th of April in the Hungarian capital Budapest. The city prepared well in advance for the rally audience, the reception was warm and the inhabitants of Budapest were equally as enthusiastic about the rally start as the Portuguese at the start of the "Dakar" in Lisbon.

At the outer area of a park containing beautiful historical houses and at the end of a wide street the organizers had set up tents for the technical scrutineering. Already before the events it self the ASO's announcement to perform the entire scrutineering in just one day had caused confusion. Normally the experts and ASO officials are well known for their intense checks and detailed controls. This time it was intense as normal - anyhow everything seemed to move a little faster and so the scrutineering was performed in just one day.

The day started with the Hungarian participants, at the beginning there was the local star Sandor Kis with his Nissan Navara closely followed by the Volkswagen crew even thought there were not many spectators yet. The first highlight for the arriving public was the appearance of Robby Gordon who brought a new team colleague to Europe. He was joined by one of his toughest competitors in the American SCORE series B.J. Baldwin. Also part of the crew was the chief of the Gordon sponsor "Monster Energy" who personally took it as this day's mission to hand out all 11 flavors of his energy drink to the curious drivers and guests for testing.

The man partner "Red Bull" was not quite amused about his (as they invested big efforts in presenting a gigantic hospitality scenery) but in the end it was tolerated. Red Bull had its main highlight with something completely different. Suddenly an aerobatic planed appeared on scene and began performing spectacular flight acrobatics. The Hungarian pilot quickly drew the attention of everyone to him and momentarily all eyes were drawn away from the cars.

The next highlight was the X-Raid team from Sven Quandt followed by Mitsubishi. During this year the Japanese crew is more interesting than ever. With Hiroshi Masuoka they are testing for the first time the new MPR14-Diesel-Evo. However even if the interior is new the outer body is still the one everyone is used to. The new design is still a well kept secret and no one from the Mitsubushi drivers, mechanics and officials made any comment or gave any hint about the things to come. Insiders are speculating on a design based on the new Mitsubishi Outlander - however this also was only commented with a "Maybe yes, maybe not." by Mitsubishi.

The whole day heavy rain clouds passed over the city broken by sunny spots. The temperature was quite nice with about 18 degrees Celsius.

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






















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