This year, the Mecsek Rallye is not just a battle of drivers and cars for time, championship points or a spectacular race on the county’s country and forest roads. The organisers have also thought about those – even families – who are attracted by the special cars, but are not so fanatical rally fans that they spend the day in a Mecsek bend waiting for the field to race past.
In addition to the Friday afternoon start and Saturday evening finish ceremonies on Széchenyi Square, they may also be interested in the Friday night parc fermé in the city centre, and the two different car shows that will be an additional programme, one could say an open-air car museum.
As a reminder of the everyday streetscapes and rally tracks as a recollection, the Zwei Takt Memory project will take nine Group A Trabant cars of the era, the real two-stroke racing Trabant of the era, around Széchenyi Square on Friday. All of them are indeed on the tracks, having been trained primarily in the rally sprint championship, then restored and refined after years of rest in the garage, recalling fond memories for the elderly and providing technical insights for the young.
However, after the Széchenyi Square parade, the Trabis will be at the back of the field and will be spitting through the two fast races on Friday and all the other days. We should add that, although they are factory homologous tuned, Gruppe A, real former racing machines, this time not in a rush, but in a demonstration pace.
On Thursday, the 550-kilometre Yprés-Istanbul Challenge will see the 26-car field of the 550-kilometre Yprés-Istanbul Challenge make its debut on the same day and on two special stages, featuring real curiosities from 1926 to 1978, Aston Martins, Bentleys, Citroen CV2s, Porsches, classic Mercedes and several cars from the pre-war era. The youngest car in the line-up will be a 1978 VW Beetle.
The presence of the field from Belgium to Turkey is mainly thanks to the event organiser, Fred Gallagher (who won 5 World Rally Championship races during his career as a navigator), who, knowing the date of the Mecsek Rally, used his good contacts in Pécs to contact the organisers looking for a possible connection.
They will take part in the official test on Thursday, and on Friday morning they will complete a regularity stage on the Trefortpuszta high-speed stage, in traffic before the track closes.
Also of interest is that their Tour is organised by Rally the Globe’s Honorary President Ari Vatanen.