After the Historic field, the rain slowly receded and the start ceremony continued. The competitors took the podium in the ORB category, who were received by Ádám Haraszti, a sports commentator, and the audience gathered in Széchenyi Square.
With each start number, driver Mads Østberg and navigator Eriksen Torstein drove to the podium with a Citroen C3. Ádám Haraszti asked the competitors how they felt and what they expected from the Mecsek Rally. They already have a lot of experience in Hungarian races, but the pilot said that he really likes this city, he really enjoyed the tracks.
Then András Hadik and his navigator, Krisztián Kertész, stood under the start gate with a Ford Fiesta. The pilot said they should expect a wet track in terms of weather, so they will pay close attention to the choice of tire.
Polish riders took the place of Hadik and Kertész with a Skoda Fabiva. Grzyb Grzegorz and Kozdron Kamil said that this is their second time here at the Mecsek Rally, but they think the tracks are very difficult. It doesn’t help that the Hungarian competitors are very fast, so they expect a hard field.
Frigyes Turán occupied the podium with László Bagaméri. The riders are very happy to be here at the Rally, this was also evident on their faces, as they both smiled while they were talking to Adam.
Another Skoda Fabia drove up to the podium, this time led by pilot Miklós Csomós. “We are really looking forward to the weekend, there are nice memories here, as we got the victories in the smaller categories here.” The riders were expecting a good time, but Csomós added with a laugh, “of course it didn’t happen”. The pilot thinks tonight’s fast night won’t be easy, as he doesn’t really like to drive in the evening, and as a plus, even the rain has hardened.
Next, Kristóf Klausz stood up next to the commentator, also with a Skoda Fabia. Riders expect a slippery track tonight, but hope the track will dry up. According to the pilot, all riders are now thinking about changing their tires, which will be a very influential factor in the development of the results.
Once again, a Skoda Fabia was visible on the podium. Pilot Ádám Velenczei said that they have no problem with the rain and that the darkness does not cause them any difficulty. “You have to do well here, as everywhere,” Velenczei summed up briefly. In his opinion, due to the rainy weather, today will be the biggest differences in the results.
Then László Bodolai and Attila Deák drive up to the podium with a Ford Fiesta. Haraszti also asks them more about the weather, as it is authoritative in all respects in such a competition. Bodolai said they need to adapt to this situation and definitely want to enjoy the competition. Racers number nine also said they weren’t prepared for this weather, so it’s definitely a challenge. “We’re trying to focus on safety on this first fast.”
“We only temporarily interrupted the line of Fabia,” says Haraszti as he joins Péter Osváth and Tamás Papp with Skoda. They weren’t happy about the rain either, as the weather can affect a lot of things. “We’ve already seen this, because the rain started to fall just when we started.” – Osváth recalls a Miskolc Rally.
Ollé “Sasa” drives up to the podium with the yellow Skoda, where Haraszti is already waiting for the riders. The commentator asked what was expected of this quick, to which Sasa replied, “I love the rain but the dark”. The pilot pointed out that he sees worse in the dark, so he may have a less good time at this time, but his navigator, Ollé Rebeka, is very good, so there will be no problem. The pilot said that probably the biggest difference will be at the start, as the young riders go bolder, but for him this asphalt is no longer suitable. Still, they definitely want to be in the top 10.
Once again, a Ford Fiesta takes the place of Skoda on the podium. Pilot Antal Kovács said that he thought the track in Pécsvárad was very good and added that he would not be disturbed if the weather became slippery due to the weather.
Then a Skoda Fabia again takes the place on the podium, led by Tibor Tóth. The pilot says he is not happy with the weather, as dark, rain and heat also play a part in the race. He added that because of these, they will have to pay close attention to the pitch.
Róbert Bútor and Róbert Tagai take over the podium with their Citroen cars. At the sight of the Citroen C3 WRC No. 16, the audience immediately started applauding. The pilot says they’re prepared for dry weather, so Saturday will be a little better, but in the Rally, that also includes having to adapt to sudden changes.
We wish everyone good luck for the race!