Over the warm-up. Over the necessary paperwork, namely the administrative check and the scrutineering. Some made tests as well, so everything went according to the normal routine at the Hungarian cross-country World Cup race called HunGarian Baja. However, at such times the competitors showed some fever of excitement that they were eager to push the pedal to the metal.
As expected the two biggest stars, the two-time Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mikko Hirvonen racing with a factory Mini, arrived at almost exactly the same time on Thursday at the administrative check, so they had chance to pull each other’s leg. The Qatari was joking that he practically felt at home in the Hungarian heat, while the Finnish felt spectacularly indignant at being unequal to the desert climate, although recently he had had time to get used to it.
Al-Attiyah won HunGarian Baja three times, Hirvonen once last year. Both of them were glad to return to the race around Veszprém, they love the stages here.
‘This is one of my favourite races. The stages are different from the ones all over the world, bumpy, technical stages, you must focus on until the end, if you do not intend to make a mistake. But I do love it for that reason. I love challenges and the Hungarian World Cup race is full of them. By the way, not incidentally we are fighting for the World Cup leading position’ said Nasser Al-Attiyah.
‘Everything was different here a year ago. It rained, the stages were muddy and tricky, while now there is extreme heat and dust. Although I have heard that the rain is coming. Whatever weather is, I expect very hard fight, because Nasser is a strong opponent and it is always great pleasure to compete against him. And what has happened since last year? I have gained lot of experience, I learnt something at every race and if you start at a race for the second time, you are definitely better than at first. It allows me to be optimistic.’
Source HunGarian Baja