Impatient rest day for Szalay
Team Opel Dakar principal reflects on a fast stage 5 whilst itching to start stage 6 tomorrow.
A bravery test could describe the fifth stage of the Africa Race between As Sakn and Dakhla. The speed was high (average 130km/h) but the course as usual, held some traps to slow down the unwary. The traps were successfully avoided by Szalay Balázs and László Bunkoczi as they powered to second position.
Ingenuity from the co-pilot, allowed the Hungarian pair driving their Opel Mokka to overtake yesterday’s winner, Michel Turon Barrere, leading the field for a while. Turon Barrere's buggy lost its way and for a couple of hundred meters Szalay’s was driving in their dust before László noticed that they were heading in the wrong direction, allowing the Opel dakar team to gain a valuable advantage.
“It was a fast, gravelly stage I would even say that it was enjoyable, but at some points it was really sneaky. We drove eight kilometers with full gas, than suddenly we had to slow down almost stop because there were two great holes ahead of us that if we fell into it we would definitely roll over. Five more kilometers and a trap again so we had to be really cautious” explained Szalay, who got lost a couple hundred meters before the finish allowing two time Dakar winner, Jean-Louis Schlesser to overtake him in the last section of the stage.
They arrived to the finish with the Opel Mokka driving in the dust of the blue Buggy of Schlesser. This is more than inspiring for the team and Szalay was smiling widely at the finish.
“Now I am very happy, so now I do not feel what I usually do at this time of the race, I don’t wait the rest day. I would start immediately the next stage, but I know that the guys need the rest and the Mokka needs to be scrutinized, even if it was doing well so far”announced Szalay who is known to have a bet with the old man and five time winner of the race, Jean-Louis Schlesser. The stake of the bet is a secret, but they are still competing who will finish ahead of who on how many stages.
Well, before the rest days the statistics show that Schlesser is leading to 3:2. The side action is not yet finished, the hardest part of the race is coming up in Mauritania.
- 16.01.2014LATEST: Robby Gordon NOT out
- 16.01.2014Not quite official but not looking good
- 16.01.2014Robby Gordon out of 2014 Dakar
- 15.01.2014Robby Gordon sole Toyo Tires driver after BJ Baldwin forced to retire
- 14.01.2014Robby Gordon finishes 28th
- 14.01.2014Gordon stopped just before stage end.
- 13.01.201414th for Baldwin on Stage 8
- 12.01.2014Baldwin 28th after difficult final sector
- 12.01.2014Rest day
- 12.01.2014Subdued end to Week one of 2014 Dakar
- 10.01.2014Technical problems for Szalay
- 10.01.2014BJ hanging in
- 10.01.2014Gordon hit with 1hour penalty
- 09.01.2014Robby Gordon 3rd on stage 5
- 09.01.2014Team Opel Dakar finish 11th
- 08.01.2014Chicherit out of Dakar
- 08.01.2014Bad luck and Trouble in Africa Eco Race
- 08.01.2014Gordon 1st Toyo Tires driver home, finishing 14th in stage 4
- 08.01.2014Robby Gordon reflects on the opening stages of the Dakar
- 08.01.2014Chicherit stopped at Km65 for 20 minutes now
- 08.01.2014BJ Baldwin before the storm
- 07.01.201442nd for Baldwin
- 07.01.20145th for Chicherit in stage 3, 6th for Gordon
- 07.01.2014Frustration for Opel Dakar Team in stage 7
- 07.01.2014Longest day for Opel Dakar Team
- 07.01.201414 + 2 = bad luck luck for Baldwin
- 06.01.2014Improved results for Team Toyo Tires in stage 2 of 2014 Dakar
- 06.01.2014Team Opel Dakar 2nd in stage six
- 06.01.2014Team Toyo Tires has a bad day at the office
- 05.01.2014Gordon finally starts special
- 05.01.2014Impatient rest day for Szalay
- 05.01.2014Dakar start for Team Toyo Tires
- 04.01.2014Huge interest in Gordon's new car.
- 04.01.2014Robby Gordon reaches Dakar
- 04.01.2014Szalay storms to second
- 03.01.2014EVR Checks in
- 03.01.2014Balzázs bounces back
- 02.01.2014Szalay Balzázs seventh overall in Africa Eco rally 2014