One Great Race in Budapest

Hungary has been a regular on the F1 calendar for almost three decades now but if today’s turn-out in Budapest is anything to go by the people of this amazing city appear to have an insatiable appetite for grand prix racing – in fact, for fast racing machinery of any variety.

Every year, in celebration of International Workers Day, the city stages its Great Race event, or the Nagy Futam as it's known locally, and this year a staggering half a million people turned out for the third edition of the event to watch a vast array of racing machinery, including a brace of The Team's RB7s driven by Daniil Kvyat and David Coulthard, blast around a 4km course that wound through the city and along the banks of the Danube.

The event kicked off just before 11am with a spectacular air show, which after a display by the Hungarian Army using a Mil MI-8 helicopter, really kicked into gear when Red Bull Air Race legend and local hero Peter Besenyei took to the skies for a dramatic display extreme aerobatic skill, which of course included a fly by of the world famous Chain Bridge.


Peter's stunning show was followed by more aerobatic mayhem from the Flying Bulls team and then some stunning tandem flying from the squad's BO-105 and Bell Cobra helicopter crews. In terms of airborne beauty, however, nothing could top the sight of the Flying Bulls' beautiful North American B-25 Mitchell, Vought F4U Corsair and the legendary North American P51 Mustang, flying overhead.

After a break for lunch, the ground-based action got underway and first to take to the challenging course was Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen. The 2005 Hungarian Grand Prix winner attacked the 4km course with relish, blasting from the Pest side of the Danube at Várkert Bazár down to Lánchíd utca and Clark Adam Square before heading across the Chain Bridge to the Buda Embankment and the return trip back to Várkert Bazár.

There were thousands of people here who came out to see some fast cars... I think we gave them what they wanted.

Kimi's efforts over his two runs were enough to spark a bit of competitive spirit in Dany and DC and when their turn came shortly after 3pm, both racers pushed their RB7s right to the limit, not an easy task when the bumpy streets necessitated fairly extreme ride height settings.

The action got even more potent when for their final two runs Dany and DC were joined by the Red Bull NASCAR, with former Minardi F1 driver Patrick Friesacher at the wheel of the Toyota Camry racer, and by a brace of World Series by Renault cars piloted by Hungarian former F1 driver Zsolt Baungartner (who also drove for Toro Rosso progenitor Minardi) and by Renault 3.5 series regular Roy Nissany.


The four-wheeled frenzy wasn't just confined to F1 machinery, however. With a round of the World and European Touring Car Championships taking place at the Hungaroring this weekend, a number of drivers from both championships took the time to come down and show off their machinery and in total there were six cars on show being drivers by stars such as 2014 WTCC champion José Maria Lopez, local hero Norbert Michelisz and Portugal's Tiago Monteiro.

For our two drivers it was another massive show car event and one that David said showed the richness of motor sport in all its forms. "I think it was another great show run," said DC. "It was great to have the opportunity to get two of our Formula One cars out there, with Daniil leading the way. We had NASCAR, [Formula Renault] 3.5's and Air Race planes out there, so I think it was a real celebration of motorsport.

"Once again the Hungarian crowds didn't disappoint. There were literally hundreds of thousands of fans lining the streets, the whole route was jam-packed. It acts as a great reminder of the power of motorsport on what is a major national holiday out here."

For Dany, it was simply a case of giving the people what they want.
"Budapest is a brilliant city, it's always loads of fun and I have a lot of good memories," he said. "I think I gained one more today as it was a great event and there were thousands of people here who came out to see some fast cars driving around and I definitely think we gave them what they wanted."