The second round of Hungarian CCR season was pretty much like the first one. Rain was a devoted fellow for most of the race and affected the final classification.
Erik Korda (you remember him, right? the winner of the previous race) presented his Navara in Playboy design. This is how a worldwide brand promotes its energy drink. Thumbs up. Fazekas was ready to race again with his repaired and newly colored BMW X5. A long way from Brazilian to Slovak to Hungarian and finally to Croatian has on its account the only Pajero in T1 class.
Friday program: more than 50 kilometers of fast straights. Some cars were attacking 200 km/h speed, some were out. Unlucky fellow Balázs Benik was forced to stop after fire had caught the engine. His teammate Péter Rónai fell into a ditch full of water and got rescued by a tractor working nearby. The Fastest on the first day was Korda followed by Fazekas and Szalay (Opel Antara RR).
Rainy Saturday didn’t bring much joy to Szalay. First he lost time because of a wrong tire choice, and then he got a flat and lost even more. Despite this he was still holding the third place after the second race day. This was not the case of two Nissan crews; Imre Varga and Márton Kristóf were out. But ex-factory Navaras proved their qualities by grabbing first and second. Palik was keeping a tiny 23 second-advantage on Korda. Remaining 100 kilometers should have been decisive.
Palik won two of three specials and thus increased his lead by 4 seconds. They quickly faded away after a small mistake. Korda was approaching very fast. The Playboy sponsored driver almost made it, he was three seconds too slow for the first place. So after two rounds two Navaras are leading the championship. Dramatic fight for the third place was open until the very end of the rally. Szalay broke rear axle and was quickly replaced. But Attila Gábor was betrayed by his 3-litre Audi powered Pathfinder and fell down the order. Virtually third Army man Bálint wasn´t able to avoid a small mistake and lost to Szalay by 10 seconds.
What about the rest? For the second time in two races the fifth place came to András Lukács (G.Baba Tdi). Croatian Dražen Ćurić (Mitsubishi Pajero) finished sixth, Károly Fazekas (BMW X5) seventh, Szilveszter Kéry with aging Bowler Wildcat eight. Last two places belonged to Nissan, ninth Gábor with Pathfinder and tenth Pál Lónyai with Pickup.
Photos: Nyúl Eszter, http://www.dakar.hu/