|Dakar Rally 2013: Hungarian Opel Team - typical semi-team rallystory|
This was the sixth time for the Hungarians Balázs Szalay and László Bunkoczi to set off on the Dakar Rally together with their "Opel Antara RR" - and both reached the finish. For Szalay’s it was the 11th Dakar Rally, he reached the finish line seven times - what is a Hungarian record.
Originally, the Opel Dakar Team’s goal was to get into the Top 10 on the 2012 desert show. Considering all circumstances, that they had lots of technical problems (the engine stopped twice because of the heat and once the semi-axis got broken) and there were days when they had to start catching up from the back of the field, Szalay and Binkoczi considers the final 21st position realistic.
Back in Hungary, both had to tell a lot and told their story. Let´s have a view behind the scenes of the Hungarian semi-team with a un-typical car - but typical Dakar-problems.
The Dakar 2012 - by Balázs Szalay: "The problem was that the technical problems did not only affect a certain day, it also influenced carefree days, when everything went well. Because it did not matter that you have no technical problems, if we had to overtake forty cars in the dust.
Once we followed a truck for ninety kilometers before we could get ahead of it and we left it behind in two minutes we did not even see it in the mirrors. At other times we were overtaking in vain, because we had to break to stop like a hundred times because of the slow vehicles ahead of us. So at the end we tended to make some calculations: what if there was no problem with the gas pump and the fuel did not overheat. The whole Dakar would have been different.
We would not have started at the back, the semi-axis might not have got broken eighteen kilometers before the finish but would have endured till the end. Car racers are inclined to so such calculations but is does not have any sense. We finished on the twenty-first place after all we went through and this is a realistic result. We are glad and grateful to the team, which did everything for us to set off for the upcoming stage with the best technical support."
The Dakar 2012 - by László Bunkoczi: "We felt that we missed three years, it was influencing our decision making agility. The forefront of the world was here on the last two Dakars and I must say that our competitors are developing in incredible speed and the local racers are very skilled and high level.
I am a careful bacchanalian, originally I wanted our final position to start with the number one and we almost made it, but by knowing the circumstances our position is correct. Anyway, the technical faults are partly the result of the fact, that we left out the pas two years, because fifty Celsius degree heat and desert cannot be simulated at home.
That’s why it happened that Robby Gordon just came over to us, looked at the car and told us what the problem was, that it was way too hot, so he told us ´take this part out here and put it over there´ and from that on everything worked well. To put it in a nutshell, I still say that this achievement is just fine."
2012/02/05 | 01:03 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/HS/ [ DAKAR.HU ]