V. Rally Hungary 2024 – Four pairs on home soil in the first event of the year –

After a successful year for our team last year – which ended with an ERC Junior title – it was a long wait for the next season, 2024, in which HRT Racing Team has even bigger plans. Accordingly, work has been in full swing for this year to give as many young drivers as possible the opportunity to join the team.

We already knew at the end of last year that the season would start for us on our home track, at Rally Hungary V, which was the opening round of the European Championship. The fleet this weekend consisted of a Rally2 Skoda and three Peugeot 208s:

  • Csomós Miklós – Nagy Attila                ERC
  • Bertalan Márton – Paizs Róbert           ERC4
  • Herczig Patrik – Varga Kristóf               ERC Junior
  • Aleksandar Tomov – Brankov Yavor    ERC Junior

In the weeks leading up to the race, we managed to get all four of our pairs together for a test, so we had a great team-building program to warm up for the challenge.

Our four newcomers took to the track on Thursday of the week of the race, with the aim of setting the best possible stages. On Friday, they were able to drive their superbly prepared cars at top speed. Free practice and qualifying took place in the first half of the day, followed by a very short superspecial in Királyszentistván in the evening. The results were as follows. On Friday, there were a lot of Hungarian fans cheering on the Hungarian drivers, so it is a great pride that we were able to add three Hungarian drivers to the European Championship field this weekend.

Saturday was the longest day of the weekend, 104 kilometers of speed races, 6 speed races in total. Hegyesd, Kislőtér, Várpalota all had to be completed in two laps. The weather was kind, as on Saturday, as on Friday, the drivers were greeted by bright sunshine. There was a 15-minute service in the morning, a 30-minute service during the day and a 45-minute service in the evening.

After the first round, Mixi and his team were in 6th place in the absolute and we could celebrate another great success in the history of the team, as they won the stage in várpalota, so we could say that we could win a stage in ERC absolute as well. In ERC4, Bertalan and his team, who were Peugeot Cup champions last year. Well, after the first round, during which they managed to win two stages, they were only in 7th place, because they didn’t manage to get a good start in the first stage in the morning, but otherwise their overall performance was very encouraging, just like the Herczigs had a good start in the first round in Junior, they were in 5th place. Aleksadar Tomov, for whom this race was an absolute deep water, as they had never raced in ERC Junior and had never driven a Peugeot in a live race, were 10th.

In the second half of Saturday, the Mixi’s showed safe, mature racing and kept their 6th place in the absolute and were within shooting distance of the first (+ 26.6 seconds).

Csomós M. – Nagy A.:

„Today was one of the most difficult days of our lives in rally. It’s been a long time since we’ve been on gravel, and we probably didn’t always know how to use our tyres well, because they were very low on the Kislőtér. Despite all this, our position is pretty good, and we could even end up with a podium at the end of the race!”

In ERC4, Bertalan and Marc have made a big leap forward! They managed to climb from 7th to 3rd place by the end of the day. Compared to their first European Championship race, they were not at all disappointed and showed their potential.

In ERC Junior, everything was fine for Patrik Herczig and his team until the 6th stage, but they had to finish the whole weekend in the small field. Aleksandar Tomov and his team rode a prudent race and finished the day in 6th place.

On Sunday, our riders could prepare for three more races. Iszka, Tés, Nagylőtér twice, with a slightly shorter race distance than on Saturday, the total length of the stages was 88 kilometres. The weather continued to be kind to the field, with summer conditions.

The absolute classification was a huge battle for the Mixis all weekend, as they had to defend their honour against the best ERC riders on home soil. This mission was accomplished all the way, and even better. They were still only 33 seconds off the lead going into the final fast lap, which was definitely something to be celebrated, but what made it even more exciting was that they were only 1.8 seconds off the podium. The team gathered at the Power Stage entry waiting for the chance to possibly clinch a medal position in the coveted home race. What fate took away from Mixi at last year’s Rally Hungary, it gave back a little, as he managed to bring the Skoda Fabia home in third position! What a start! In addition to the points for 3rd place, they also gained 4 extra points for their great result on the Power Stage. In addition to the European Championship, the Mixi’s also entered the Hungarian Championship, which they won by a street length with maximum points.

Csomós Miklós:

„If I’m honest, I was a bit confused that we were beaten by the leaders all weekend, but it was a really extreme weekend for me. Nevertheless, I really appreciate this result. It’s especially pleasing that we were able to put in a very mature race.”

Nagy Attila:

„Before the last rapid we were in 4th place and close to the podium, but I would have been happy with 5th place, because I was back next to Mixi after almost a year. I was stressed at the beginning, but during the race I started to smooth out. At the end, I felt a sensational release with third place!”

Before the last rapid we were in 4th place and close to the podium, but I would have been happy with 5th place, because I was back next to Mixi after almost a year. I was stressed at the beginning, but during the race I started to smooth out. At the end, I felt a sensational release with third place!

„I have to say that the HRT team gave us a very well prepared car and very good set-up, which I thank them for. Zoli Légrádi, the team owner, was also jumping out of his skin at the finish. We celebrated late in the evening and on Monday morning I woke up to find our HRT teammates Mixi Csomós and Ati Nagy jumping on me in bed. It wasn’t pleasant at all, but if that’s what it takes to get an Eb podium, I’ll take it.”

Aleksadar Tomov, our 19-year-old first time ERC Junior rider, unfortunately had to retire on the first rapid of the last lap in Ischia, but he still managed to soak up a lot of useful race kilometres over the weekend.

Next race for the team: 48th Rally Islas Canarias 2024