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Hungarian Baja: The Czech Miroslav Zapletal takes Victory in Hungary

The Hungarian Baja 2007 was a great rally: Hot, dusty, fast - and only 10 from 34 Cars arrived in the FIA Class, 9 from 15 cars made it in the Cars-Challenge-Class (Amateurs). From the beginning there was a great fight between the Czech Miroskav Zapletal with his new Mitsubishi Strakar, who just won the Baja GB with his all-new rallycar just one week before, the Hungarian Sandor Kis (SA-Work Nissan Navara), the Slovakian Jozef Sykora (Mitsubishi Pajero), the Hungarian "Celebrity" Laszlo Palik (Nissan Navara) and the Hungarian Volkswagen Touareg Crew from Zoltan Rigler.

After masses of retirements - including Sykora, Rigler and some favourites like Balasz Szalay (Opel Frontera) and many Kilometres on hard, dry and dusty ground Miroslav Zapletal makes first place on the Podium perfect and finished just 10:13 Minutes before Sandor Kis in his South African built Nissan Navara and 38:15 Minutes before Laszlo Palik in his 2005 Technosport Nissan Navara. Best foreign participant (the Czech Drivers are driving with an Hungarian Licence and are classified as "Hungarians") was Wolfgang Mayer from Austria with his extremely seldom Austrian Built "Hekla Proto" on 7th position and 3rd position in the Diesel-Category.

In the Cars-Challenge-Class (Amateurs) the Hungarian Baja 2007 was won by Attila Gábor and Istvan Bacsa (Hungary, Nissan Pathfinder) before Zoltan Birnbauer and Peter Drávai (Hungary, Nissan Navara) and Patryk Loszewski/Tomasz Loszewski from Poland (Orca BMW). One of the favourites, the last year´s Second Christof Danner from Austria (Mercedes G) retired from the race after the Prologue with a broken Gearbox.

In the Motobikes and Quad-Category the Slovakian Ivan Jakes (KTM 450) made in it front of the Czech David Pabiska (Suzuki DRZ 400), the French Mickael Naudet (KTM 525 EXC) and the German Ingo Zahn (KTM 525 Rally).

"I knew that the tracks are really good here, and I was right" said the winner Miroslav Zapletal after the Race. "The Organisers did a very good job, I am really happy that we participated in this race, and perhaps I am very happy that we maganaged to win the 4th HunGarian Baja. This is one of the hardest tracks, at the beginning I worried a little about our car, because it was our second race with it. We are learning it, but I have a very good impression on the car. I really-really look forward to the Dakar, we still have some other races with this new car, but the best and the biggest will be Dakar 2008, and we hope that the car will also perform well there."

Sándor Kis (Nissan Navara): "It was a really exciting weekend, I had to improve myself. Today I was OK, and I felt that we were as competitive as Zapletal. I think we will have huge battles during the next few race. Respect for the Organisers, they made a very good job! Our car performed well, Peter, my co-driver made a fantastic job! My congratulations for the whole team, they performed really well. This silver medal is as valuable one for us as a golden would be."

László Palik (Nissan Navara): "It was a fantastic race, with fantastic opponents, we had very exciting battles! Our car had a fantastic last race, we have this car during several years, and it proved again that it can make miracles. We didn’t have any technical difficulties during the three days. I think this race is worthy of being an event of the FIA Baja, on one hand the environment is beautiful, on the other hand the Organisers made an excellent job, and the athletes were very good as well."

Peter Prochazka (Mitsubishi Pajero): "We had a very long race, the track was very good, and weather was OK as well. During the stages be could be faster and faster, and I am really happy that we didn’t have any problems with the technical matters and we could finish it without any problems. In a long race just like this we have to take care of the car. I am very much satisfied with the results, but the most important thing is that we didn’t have any medical problems."

Balázs Sarrang (Mitsubishi Pajero): "It was a really hard day, the last stage was the most difficult! The last one was really long, I waited the end from the half of the stage. We are really tired now and the car have some other smaller problems. I am really satisfied with the results. I love this place, I love to participate in this race, the organisers did an excellent job, but the track is very hard, it makes us tired very much. I enjoyed the whole race, except the last stage."

István Gál (G.Baba Proto Evo 3): "I am a bit disappointed, because we could perform well and could finish in a much better rank. During the first selective we lost control and our cardan was broken and it effected our whole race. The guys did a fantastic job, we also performed well, we was amongst the top three in each stage, except the first one and we won our category. This three day was really pleasant for us. We really enjoyed it, and the car performed as well."

Brusselers Alex (EKL-BOMBARDIER DS 650): "Yesterday I had two puncture so I lost few minutes, but I had 12 minutes advantage, so I had time to replace them. Today I still had 11 minutes advantage, so I could drive a little slower."

Jakes Ivan (KTM 450): "I liked this stony, sandy soil. I could go really quickly. It was a practice for me, because I would like to participate in this year Dakar."

2007/05/29 | 13:38 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Hungarian Baja

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