World Rally-Raid Championship

Baja Satu Mare cut short after crash involving leaders

2 Mins read
Credit: Miroslav Zapletal

The Baja Satu Mare, a joint race in Romania between the Hungarian and Romanian Cross-Country Rally Championships, was called off for the former after three stages following a wreck involving leaders Miroslav Zapletal and Lőrinc Mészáros Jr.

Both drivers, competing in Ford F-150 T1+ cars, collided after a navigation error sent one of them in the wrong direction, causing Zapletal to t-bone Mészáros in the driver’s side. Mészáros and co-driver Erik Pál got out of their vehicle without issue, but the former reported feeling pain in his left leg upon standing up and decided to go back to Hungary for evaluation. Zapletal and Marek Sýkora escaped injury, though their Ford suffered substantial front damage.

Prior to the accident, Zapletal had been leading the overall with a time of 48:15.9, just a minute and eleven seconds ahead of Mészáros. The latter set the best time during the first Selective Section on Friday while Zapletal was third; Mészáros’ M1 Motorsport team-mate Balázs Molnár was sandwiched between them but retired in SS3. The second stage, which was supposed to take place later Friday, was cancelled due to agricultural machinery blocking the course for many competitors.

The race continued for the Romanians, but was called for Hungarians due to the crash. The awards ceremony was also called off. Sebastian Paraipan won the rally on the Romanian side in his Can-Am Maverick R by nearly twenty-four minutes, continuing an impressive rally raid infancy for the SSV; Can-Ams swept the top five.

Mészáros was the defending Satu Mare winner when he narrowly beat Csucsu by just seven-tenths of a second and Zapletal by eleven seconds in 2023, and had finished third overall in the season-opening Desert Express 300 in March. His father is a businessman who served as the mayor of Felcsút in the 2010s; the elder Mészáros grew up with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and is thus a close member of his inner circle.

Zapletal, who has raced the Dakar Rally since 2007, regularly competes in the FIA World and European Baja Cups as well as domestic series in Central and Eastern Europe. He recently finished runner-up at the World Cup’s Baja Greece in late May.

Baja Satu Mare was the third round of the 2024 Hungarian Championship (TROB) and the second for the Romanian CNRR.

Overall results (CNRR)

FinishNumberDriverCo-DriverVehicleClassTimeMargin
1299Sebastian ParaipanStefan SantaCan-Am Maverick RTH 4.12:52:06.0Leader
2240Georghe Lucian BarbuMadalin AnghelescuCan-Am Maverick X3TH 4.13:15:58.7+ 23:52.7
3208Matei NegulescuOrlando Paul BarboiCan-Am Maverick X3TH 4.13:26:04.1+ 33:58.1
4205GOnzalo JaraMihai MusteaCan-Am Maverick X3TH 4.13:28:49.4+ 36:43.4
5222Calin CamarassanAlexandru CatcauanCan-Am Maverick X3TH 4.13:31:12.1+ 39:06.1
6314Adrian ComănescuCristian CristeaNissan PatrolRR2 Auto4:00:22.7+ 1:08:16.7
7377Ovidiu PascaRadu RobuMitsubishi PajeroRR2 Auto4:05:54.6+ 1:13:48.6
8116Cornel StanAndrei Marius StanMitsubishi MonteroTH 1.1 B4:06:50.6+ 1:14:44.6
9305Bogdan BusuiocValentin HardRally Raid UK Desert WarriorRR2 Auto4:07:56.0+ 1:15:50.0
10312Daniel DanilaElena DanilaDacia DusterRR2 Auto4:10:22.0+ 1:18:16.0
11133Ioan PausanDaniel Alin NistorJeep Cherokee XJTH 1.1 B4:35:28.6+ 1:43:22.6
12121Stefan BanicaAndrei BentaLand Rover Discovery 3TH 1.1 B4:46:35.3+ 1:54:29.3
13300Claudiu MoresanAdrian-Lucian LazorNissan TerranoRR2 Auto8:17:18.6+ 5:25:12.6
DNF227Mihai DospinescuCatalin IftemiPolaris RZR Pro RTH 4.2DNFN/A
DNF28Michel DumoulinPaul Ionut NyegrePolaris Ranger XP 900TH 4.2DNFN/A
DNF166Ioan SomodeanPaul Lucian ZaigIsuzu D-MaxTH 1.1 BDNFN/A

Promo

FinishNumberDriverCo-DriverVehicleTimeMargin
1413Adriana DancuAdrian DancuDacia Duster3:06:31.5Leader
2410Alexandru IordacheMihaela IordacheDacia Duster3:25:42.0+ 19:10.5
3415Catalin Constantin DumitruAndreea CiobanuDacia Duster4:49:49.4+ 1:43:17.9

TROB running order prior to cancellation

FinishNumberDriverCo-DriverTeamVehicleClassTimeMargin
1201Miroslav ZapletalMarek SýkoraOffroadsportFord F-150 EVOT1+48:15.9Leader
2202Lőrinc MészárosErik PálM1 MotorsportFord F-150 EVOT1+49:27.4+ 1:11.5
3406Szilveszter KéryBarbara Anett BarthaMészáros M1 Autókereskedö Kft.Can-Am Maverick X3T449:43.6+ 1:27.7
4405Zoltán GaramvölgyiAntal TakácsGarilla RacingGarilla X3 EvoT450:03.6+ 1:47.7
5402Norbert LisziDorottya KapítányM1 MotorsportCan-Am Maverick X3SSV51:08.3+ 2:52.4
6901Attila CsatóZoltán HajasGarilla RacingSegway Villain SX10UP58:29.0+ 10:13.1
7301Richárd BruzsaNikolett SzökeSpeedy Motorsport SEBedu Pro X3T359:18.5+ 11:02.6
8401Szabolcs KollárÁgnes RuffM1 MotorsportCan-Am Maverick X3SSV59:32.5+ 11:16.6
9902Tomás TóthEmil KissTomás TóthCan-Am Maverick X3UP1:02:45.7+ 14:29.8
10404Szilárd KánnárDávid BéresGarilla RacingCan-Am Maverick X3T42:43:55.915:40.0
11407Norbert NémethPálma NémethGarilla RacingCAn-Am Maverick X3T45:27:21.0+ 4:39:05.1
DNF403Balázs MolnárGabriella MolnárM1 MotorsportM1 X3T4DNFN/A
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