We’ve done it

An update and a summary about the one night stand rally from last Friday/Saturday.

This race was one leg of the Bamako Championship Challenge, a 3-leg event for rally enthisiasts, future and ex Budapest-Bamako partcipants and for whoever being stupid enough to drive through half the country during the night in totally remote places.

On the day of the start our vehicle arrived from our friend, our general mechanic and co-traveller of Bus number 7 project, Soma. He spent enormous amount of time and money to fix the Moskvich… as far as I know he adjusted sg. on the brakes, installed new windshield wipers and fixed a mandatory fuzzy dice on the mirror. Oh, we also bought a set of rubber floor mats for 1.5 Euros.

And of course we printed nice stickers for the front, back and side of the car (after all it’s a promotional vehicle) and printed 200 leaflets as well. Quality job from my drinking pal who owns a digital printing house.

Before the flag off.

Our team of 3 – me, Szabi, the co-organizer of Bus Number 7 and Peter (who we recently appointed as a manager for a very-very interesting project we come up with soon) just couldn’t wait for the start sign. Well, 3 idiots in a Moskvich – a guarantee for a great night.

Peter with the indonesian suitcase. He never leaves the house without it. Doesn’t metter for 1 day or for 4 weeks. Same stuff. He’s carrying some foldable chairs as well (thanks Polar Bears! ๐Ÿ™‚

More than 100 teams signed up for this event, so the parking lot of one of the Budapest shopping malls where we got together was quite busy with participants running around and friends greeting each other before the flag off.
Out of the 100 cars, there were only four 2WD vehicles: 2 Suzuki Swifts, a Peugeot Partner and our beauty…. and our Moskvich was the oldest and most (sorry darling) primitive one in terms of engine and construction. What are the chances of a 20 year old soviet Moskvich against 100 modern 4WD giants? Well, we’ll see…

We were flagged off at 8:40 PM and we immediately “rushed” to search for the first geo-challenge near Budapest. That was the last time we were driving on tarmac.
And we kept driving from point A to point B for the next 12 hours… in pitch black, in the middle of nowhere. My mother would say at least we were out breathing fresh air.

Peter writing the answer for the current challenge… somewhere.

To be honest we had no f.king clue which part of the country we were for hours and hours just drove in the mud, sand, green fields, through forests, farms, who knows what.
The car was just excellent. People behind us were amazed… a Land Cruizer team (once we met them) said they wouldn’t ever reach us if we were not stuck in the mud somewhere. Well we stuck only twice but take a look at the terrain (ok, can’t really see that in the dark pics) and our perfect offroad tyres ๐Ÿ™‚

We didn’t mind stopping once in a while meeting with other teams and share our vodka with them…

…even if these guys were the official marshals of the race ๐Ÿ˜‰

Yes, once we tried to get off the mud with the sacrifice of our back floor mats, but the mud-clay mixtrure said HA HA. So someone towed us (with our special “ropes” – thanks Polar Bears!)

We stopped another time – the spark plug (err…what is that?) cover fell off the plug and contacted the exhaustion pipe and obviously melted in 5 minutes. Having 3 cylinders working we have tried to fix it. Removed the residuals of the plastic from the wire but the small metal screw from the tip of the plug disappeared, we couldn’t fix the wire with the plug.

Oh-oh… doesn’t look very good…

At this moment Peter cried out: wait, I think I have a spare plug in my case…next to my toothbrush!
While we were all thinking about why would anyone on Earth keep a spark plug next to his toothbrush, he explained that he kept spark plugs everywhere in his luggage. He drove a 1971 Mini to Mali in January and the car was not exactly in good condition. So just in case he hed plugs hidden everywhere. And naturally he didn’t unpack the suitcase in the past 2 months. I love mental people ๐Ÿ™‚

We drove until 5 AM until dawn then realized that we need to start driving towards the finish to get there in time not to lose our points.

We got to the finish safe and reeeally dirty 10 minutes before the time was up.
And guess what – we finished number 27 total! Lots of the teams couldn’t even finish the race. Many of them didn’t make it in time. But we did!

Mud inside and outside – but that’s what we expected!

Damn tired… and we still need to drive back home. But keep smiling.

After this thorough and pretty tough test we have no choice but to give this lovely Moskvich the following ranking


(also for the Caucasian Challenge)

2 responses to “We’ve done it”

  1. Peter and the Spark plug story is the highlight. would like to know what else he carries in that suitcase. ( maybe you can dedicate a blog post to that ) ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Well, you should have seen our faces when he came up with the idea! ๐Ÿ™‚
    That’s why we need these fellows, they’re not just entertaining, they are the solution for problems you think you cannot solve!

    I’m not sure I want to know what he carries in that suitcase but will ask him if you really want to know…

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