The Silk Way Rally, which took place for the fourth time in Russia, is considered by many a test for Dakar because of its tough challenges for the off-road rallyists. The race, which took place mid July, was flagged off at the Red Square in Moscow and led across Central Russia. It was originally scheduled to end in the town of Gelendzhik on the shore of the Black Sea, but was shortened due to bad weather and finished in Maikop. The team drove across the Russian steppes and the desert of Kalmykia, making their way through scarcely inhabited regions of hills and valleys to the hard mountain tracks of the Caucasus Mountains. The Szalay-Bunkoczi pair from Opel Dakar Team successfully negotiated the thousands of kilometres of the race and finished second overall.
Henkel Hungary has supported one of the most successful Hungarian rally racer pair for many years. President Dr Ágnes Fábián says that these races, which put exceptional strain on man and machine alike, are a test for Henkel as well. An important supplier to the motor industry, the international Henkel company is not only a sponsor of motor sport events but has also been a participant for years. The experience gained is applied towards product development. Another cross-country race, the Dakar Rally, is accompanied by Loctite Charlies who assist by servicing the cars using Loctite and Teroson adhesives and sealing products. Henkel Hungary is an official supplier to the Opel Dakar Team Office with products of the adhesive technologies business unit (Loctite, Teroson). The racers also act as brand ambassadors of the company’s personal care brands (Fa Men, Schwarzkopf).
The special bond between Henkel and the team can be traced back to the head of the Szalay-Bunkoczi team, Ottó Németh, who is also the marketing manager of the cosmetics business unit of Henkel Hungary. Based on these two roles he is well positioned to assess the value of the success both as a sponsor and as a competitor. Ottó Németh considers that winning one of the stages of the race and achieving an overall second place was the joint success of the team: A team comprising of exceptional motorists and dedicated support staff and the result of a well-planned and perfectly executed training plan, as well as great performance during the race – and some luck.