Indeed, in the 55-race history of the Mecsek Rally, there is no other rider apart from Zsolt Lajtai who has competed for more than thirty times. And we can say that he will definitely be here, this time with Máté Matulik.
“Yes, that’s right, we will be there again. I haven’t done the exact count yet, but I’m going to have thirty starts, that’s for sure. Back in the eighties, in rally2, I competed for the first time. It was a fantastic atmosphere then, a competitiv, but also a family atmosphere. Whenever I close my eyes, I can always see my father waiting for me in the pit lane. It’s still an unforgettable experience to this day,” says a nostalgic Zsolt Lajtai.
“Then we switched to VFTS. Well, it was a very tough car at the time. There were more and more cars like that in the field, it was very stimulating to be up against so many rivals. Our best result at home was an absolute 2nd place at Mecsek, only Tamás Szabó could beat us in a BMW M3… With the Lada we had several more podium finishes in absolute here at home, but also in other places in the country. I remember that time with a very good heart,” Zsolt says proudly.
“Then came the Toyota Celica, a milestone in my life. It was a western racing car with all-wheel drive. We were able to go with the N version, but even with that we got very good results in absolute. It was a pleasure to race in the 90’s, lots of spectators, the number of entrants in rally1 was never under 100 cars. And then much later, almost looking back to the present day, in 2019 I took on the youngsters here in Mecsek with a Mitsubishi, also with all-wheel drive. It was a great experience. Opportunities like this still keep me going,” says Zsolt Lajtai with a twinkle in his eye.
“I’m in good shape at 64, I always say the stopwatch shows how I am because it doesn’t know me. If the weather is good, I won’t stop, if I see it getting worse, I’ll hang up my helmet. However, I’m still developing the Ford Escort. I’d even like to put Szeleczky’s beloved 15-year-old WRC chassis under the car so I can fit 18-inch wheels. Not yet, it’s not finished, but it shows that if it’s up to me, I’ll be here in the field of the 56th Mecsek Rally” – concludes Zsolt Lajtai, who has irrevocably written his name in the memory book of Hungary’s most patriotic race.