OPEL DAKAR TEAM- BALAZS SZALAY
“Inspired to return for the 40th edition”
Four years after his last appearance on the Dakar, Balazs Szalay returns, inspired by the 40th edition of the World’s greatest rally. The Hungarian has a long history with the Dakar. It all started over twenty years ago. At the time, he failed to finish his first two Dakar rallies but rapidly became a key figure of the race managing to finish in the top 30 on five occasions including 20th spot back in 2012. Supported by Opel, the 52-year-old will have at his side his faithful co-driver Laszlo Bunkoczi with whom he has shared so many adventures. Both will hope to take their Crossland X to Cordoba and battle it out with the best.
B.S.: “In the past years we raced rather in Africa in January, because it was attractive to return to our roots. But the fact that the best cross country racers of the world are preparing for their 40th Dakar Rally, started something in me too. It inspired me to return to South America after a four-year pause. Peru’s return means that there will be more desert stages and dunes on the race. This means that we can count on an exciting battle, because as we all know, anything can happen in the dunes. I started on my very first Dakar Rally twenty-two years ago. Certainly, the race has changed a lot since that time. It moved from Africa to South America. Our aim is to stretch our boundaries each and every day to get the maximum out of ourselves.” L.B.: “At the moment, it is hard to tell our position in this extremely strong field, against which we haven’t raced for four years. Although we have been constantly confronted with the unknown on each and every desert race for years, this is something we just cannot get used to. It will be great to be there and start the first stage, because none of us likes the preparation phase. I am very excited!”