Top 10 finish for Ourednicek and Kripal in Hungarian Baja
The crew of South Racing Central Europe, Tomas Ourednicek and David Kripal finished Hungarian Baja, eighth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies in an excellent 8th position with the Ford Ranger Dakar. For co-driver David Kripal the weekend in Veszprem marked a milestone: he scored his first World Cup points in his first ever participation in the series. Beside the World Cup, Hungarian Baja was also the fourth round of Hungarian Championship, in this classification Tomas and David finished 4th.
For South Racing Cetral Europe, this year’s Hungarian Baja was mostly about David Kripal’s return to the co-driver’s seat after his accident. Although David was cleared by his doctors for racing, his foot is still far from being 100 percent, so the crew decided to start with a cautious approach. They finished Friday’s 11 km Superspecial in 13th position due to an issue with windscreen wiper, but right after the first of the two 136 km specials on Saturday they climbed up to 7th position, which they managed to keep during the second part of the day despite some minor technical issues. On Sunday, Tomas and David finished 8th in both 103 km long specials, and achieved the same position in the overall classification as well.
„Friday’s short Superspecial started with a bad feeling because our problems with vision didn’t promise too much good for the rest of the weekend. During the night there was a big storm, so on Saturday morning we started on mud tires. It proved to be a good decision, we clocked the 7th time, despite taking a cautious approach. But we didn’t change the tires for the second part and this was a mistake because by then the track was completely dry. We had a small issue with engine but our mechanics were able to fix it. The service at the end of the day was a real nightmare: I was afraid that we had a problem with the clutch so we decided to change it, and the work was finished literally in the last moment. Our mechanics did an excellent job throughout the weekend, so I owe a big thank you to them.
On Sunday we started at a faster pace to see if we can improve our result, but for that a mistake from the frontrunners would have been required. Finally we finished 8th, and I am especially happy for David, because he finished in the points in his first ever World Cup round. For him this weekend was not easy at all because of his leg, but this made my job more difficult as well because I had more to take care of than usual and also I had to drive very carefully to avoid punctures because changing a tire alone could have been very costly in terms of time. There were a lot of jumps on the track alternating with high speed sections, the Ranger spent more time in the air than on the ground.
Altogether, I am satisfied with the car, on Sunday we had no problem at all, and the setup was also great, and this was my best result so far in the World Cup, so I am very happy”, Tomas Ourednicek summarised the weekend.
“This was my first participation in the World Cup andit was a great experience. Before the race we had some concerns about my injured foot, but Friday’s shakedown showed that I was ready for racing. The rally had a perfect atmosphere, the competition was really strong, and many spectators came to see us, so we enjoyed the weekend a lot. Tomas drove perfectly and despite the minor technical problems we managed to score a nice 8th place, with which I am very happy”, co-driver David Kripal added.