Balázs Szalay loves challenges, he is passionate for the desert and the Dakar Rally. If someone is talking about the Dakar Rally in Hungary his name is definitely mentioned – many people simply call him the Hungarian of the Sahara. The 47 year old racer participated in the desert show eleven times and successfully accomplished the stages of the hardest cross country rally race seven times.
His career began with finishing the Road Atlanta race school in 1995 and afterwards he took a BMW race course in Imola. He first set off on the Dakar Rally in 1996 and he is preparing for his twelfth Dakar at the moment. He was the first Hungarian pilot (with Tamás Jakab copilot) who managed to accomplish the ‘marathon’ stages of the Dakar challenge and he is the only racer in the country who already conquered the Sahara seven times.
In 2010 Szalay and Bunkoczi grasped the Hungarian championship title – for the first time in their career – what was an outstanding achievement in the consistent field, and the heightening tendency is proven by the fact that in 2011 the pilot was close behind the first position on the international race.
In the upcoming January was standing again at the start of the Dakar Rally and in spite if all technical hardships he achieved the best result in his life, he finished on the 20th position. In the next July (2012) Szalay and Bunkoczi finished on the brilliant 2th place at the famous Silkway Rally in Russia, it was a good preparation for the Dakar 2013.