Picture Show: Budapest to Bamako

From start to finish of a truly amazing race

“What the hell was that,” hollered Jim Roberts as his Toyota Land Cruiser jolted violently to the left at the crest of a massive sand dune. Sweat pours from Roberts in the 100 degree plus heat. Checking the rear view mirrors reveals two cars and another SUV in close pursuit, but no carnage. Roberts eases off the gas a bit. Nothing sounds out of place and Roberts hits the accelerator—hard.

Just a week before Roberts and 104 other teams were freezing in Budapest Square, making last minute preparations for the Budapest to Bamako Rally, a two week, zig-zagging adventure through Europe and Africa. On the starting line with Roberts that frigid January afternoon ready to start the B2 (as it is known in the racing community) were competitors from 45 countries including Iran, Canada, India, Peru, and New Zealand. In the mix were well-equipped off-road race cars, vintage fire trucks, a 1971 Citroen DS, a 1982 Opel, and quixotic team from South Africa intent on using the B2 as the first half of a trek all the way back to the southern tip of the continent.

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