After the forced break due to the pandemic, the most original Hungarian rally race returned to the roads of Baranya in 2021, with a partially renewed organizing staff, several innovations, and later the choice of the rally race of the year. This time the press chief of the 55th Mecsek Rally interrogates the sports professional leader, Tibor Markó; asking for a little look back and sharing lots and lots of fresh information this year.
In 2020, the entire sports world (also) was sent to the floor by covid, so it also fell victim to the Mecsek Rally. So in 2021, there was obviously increased attention, as both the competitors and the fans were already “hungry” waiting for the meeting. Has this situation made it difficult to organize?
It was around this time that life started to get back to normal, with the 54th Mecsek Rally being the first big race in Hungary, so there were still some downsides. But overall, it even intensified our work ethic to be able to work together again after such a long time. PSN Zrt. Remained the official director, while Róbert Lakatos and I newly joined the sports team. The goal was to renew, to feel a change of direction, to create a fresh approach, keeping the previous results and good traditions. The enthusiastic work of hundreds of people, organizers and judges has also paid off: the race was a clear success for the sporting profession and the audience. We were able to maintain our European Championship position, and MNASZ chose the Mecsek as the rally race of the year.
At the same time, this good news also means that the standard was already high at the beginning of this year, and the goal will obviously not just be to keep up. So how to proceed?
We really want to move forward a bit again, with János Máté, CEO of PSN Zrt., the head of the organizing committee, we are thinking about a 3-5 year, gradually developing project, the continuous raising of the standard. Of course, this is easier to plan than to make it happen in everyday life, mainly because organizing a car race requires not only ideas and work, but also a lot of money, so one of the main tasks now is to create a secure financial background.
What changes, or even specialties, can the competitors and the fans who will accompany them to the “end of the world” at the Mecsek Rally in 2022 expect?
The program is here! Since our main goal is for both the riders and the spectators to leave the race with satisfaction, we are already making a change here compared to the previous ones, and even a little bit compared to the other ORB races. In the Hungarian evaluation, the required race distance is 100 kilometers, but we also prescribed nearly 140 kilometers for the Hungarian field, ie much more than the usual distance in Hungary. (In the meantime, the EHRC competition notice and the Rally Guide_1 document have been completed and published on the website, so the detailed program can already be viewed here – Ed.). Due to the increased competition distance, the competition received a multiplier of 1.2 in the domestic evaluation. We want to ensure diversity with two components: one is that this year’s program includes 2 tracks that were not previously on offer in this form, and the other is that the competitors will run twice at each venue. As the shortest section is 10.80km and the longest is 18.50km, the starters will reach a total distance of almost 140km by completing a total of 10 speeds on the five types of tracks.
Unlike the original plans, Rali2 does not pay its respects in the Mecsek, but we still have a pleasant surprise for the smaller categories. What exactly will this be?
Yes, this is a Just4Fun deposit run approved by the MNASZ RSB. For this, perhaps I can say that the real uniqueness is that we are waiting for the mostly younger pilots, I emphasize, in a limited number of people who are still winking at the ORB, but they already have a valid (R2, R3) Hungarian license and their car has the required manual. The competition will be 2 days for them as well, and with 8 speeds instead of 10, they will still complete the Hungarian Rali1 OB level, 107 kilometers, at a favorable price, contrary to the rules. That is, with a real competitive vibe, yet an affordable budget.
Competitors, teams, small and large are thus checked; let’s see what we have in store for viewers.
I can’t report any sensations here, but we are aiming for a high (er) level of service this year as well. Tickets, for example, unlike many other tournaments, are not taken this time either. On the other hand, we plan to establish “Fun Zones” in places that are easy to see and approach, points of view that provide additional added value to viewers in addition to watching the competition. The fan zones of the 55th Mecsek Rally are filled with the following content: organized and free parking, also organized – in some places already selective – waste collection, mobile toilets, buffets and 1-1 mood manager, who (also) for a good mood during the breaks between races, and will be responsible for communicating information about the competition through public address, live scores, good mood, plenty of music. In the form we envision and plan to implement, these “Fun Zones” will be pioneers in our small country, and if they pass the exam, we will deal with their further development in the future. On the other hand, I would like to ask everyone to follow the regulations and instructions of the spectators during the special stages in order to ensure their own safety and the smooth running and success of the competition; accident-free competition is the most important!
As an insider, I know you haven’t said all the “extras” about this year yet.
Indeed, we are preparing more programs, especially for spectators and sports fans, about which I will provide information later. Our intention is that we will achieve and repeat the satisfaction and faith of the fans achieved with the Mecsek Rallye last year, the justification for going to the competition this year as well. It’s hard to keep up with the internet and the accelerated flow of information, but I believe that with proper service, the much-mentioned interest and enthusiasm of previous viewers can be evoked, if only in part. We want to contribute to this with additional, unique and special experiences that can only be experienced on site. And anyone who experiences the atmosphere of the forest from the bottom, or from a warrior suction engine, the sight of a crowd scanning a dark brake disc or the vibrating row of lights, the smell of brake, rubber or racing gas, will hopefully stay a member for a long time. to this big family and will come in the future, cheering and helping to keep alive the special thing we simply call a rally. We will announce more details a little later.
More and more documents are coming to light with details, what and where can those interested find them?
In any case, the most authentic source is our website, mecsekrallye.com. The EHRC, or Historic Rally EB competition, has been available for a month now, and the so-called Rally Guide_1 document for the Hungarian Championship, the Mitropa Cup and the CEZ Historic Championship is also available, which also contains more official and additional information about the race and the from the competition venue in general. And we can finally announce the official, approved competition announcement of the Hungarian championships, Mitropa Cup and CEZ competitions, which was approved by the ASN today. The most important date for the competitors from now on is June 7, 2022, because it is the day of the closing of the entry, so far we are waiting for the entries of the teams and competitors.
To close our conversation, we will inform those interested a little about the information itself. Where and on what surfaces you will find the most important information about the locations, times, the roadblocks, the roadblocks, and finally the news and results during the race.
The official website of the competition is www.mecsekrallye.com (so it’s not .hu is over!). The primary of the social sites will be Facebook, but here I would like to draw your attention to the fact that there are several older and troll sites available on the portal. The only official site of the directors is https://www.facebook.com/MecsekRallyeEvent/ – all the others, despite the Mecsek Rallye in its name, may be unofficial in spite of its use, and since we have no influence on it, so we cannot even take responsibility for what is posted there. So if you are looking for fresh and authentic news, join us to be a follower of the Mecsek Rallye Event!