5th place at the Red Bull Ring, this must be continued

With the support of community donations, I was able to create the opportunity to compete at the Red Bull Ring this year, following the Hungarian Grand Prix, against the field of the Clio Cup Europe. The difference was significant, as while there were 26 drivers on the grid at the Hungaroring, there were forty drivers registered for the Austrian weekend.

The Clio Cup Europe championship consists of 14 rounds, of which 9 are part of the European Championship, while the remaining races take place in Spain, France, and Italy. Some races serve as both European Championship and national championship rounds, leading to variations in the size of the field. At the Hungaroring, only the European Championship field arrived, which amounted to 26 participants. However, at the Red Bull Ring, the Italian championship joined in, resulting in a field of forty drivers.

Of course, there are many drivers who compete in multiple championships, resulting in overlaps. There are competitors who enter every championship and participate in every race. However, this requires them to budget for significantly higher entry fees. On the upside, they get to race extensively and gain recognition in multiple championships. Additionally, if they achieve success, they have the potential to earn more prize money. Nicolas Milan, who competes in the field, follows this approach, which has contributed to his remarkable achievement of being a ten-time Clio Cup champion!

The 2022 calendar, which will be very similar next year

I wrote this to show you that towards the end of the year, everyone is calculating and significant amounts of money are at stake based on the results. This was evident even during this weekend. More and more people are paying attention to what I can get involved in. I don’t receive points or trophies, but who am I helping? Who am I harming by being there? It matters to them, and I understand that.

Our tent has slowly turned into a smaller transit house, with pilots coming by to chat. Milan Motorsport is the biggest team, led by champion Nicolas Milan. He not only leads the championship as a team manager, but also has the second-placed Jurado and even Guillot in third place racing for him. There is a lot of tension among them because, on one hand, the team manager leading the championship wants to win, but on the other hand, they also have to fully support the drivers racing for them. Next to their truck, there was constant arguing and quarreling.

The battle for the championship title is intensifying.

We didn’t make a big deal out of it, but there were people who approached us seeking assistance. I wasn’t particularly fond of the idea because we don’t know anyone, and I don’t want to harm or help anyone. If we manage to compete throughout 2023, we’ll definitely recover our investment, and a heavily damaged car is not something we can afford. We had to handle these conversations with caution.

It’s important to avoid getting involved in such situations, but sometimes they are unavoidable.

Second Weekend

Most likely, if you’re visiting my page, you already know what happened during the second Clio Cup Europe weekend. The crowdfunding was successful once again, and we were able to submit our entry with the GM Sport team. It’s the same French team, the same car. There are better teams and better cars out there, but this was what we could afford. I’m not complaining; they provided excellent service and worked professionally. The car is quite old and could use a complete overhaul, but we’re making do with what we have.

Small team, but professional background.

GM Sport is considered a more serious team in France, with numerous cars and participation in many championships. This year, they are competing in their first full season in the Clio Cup Europe, so they are also learning along the way. The team is led by Guillaume Maio (GM), who also drives one of the cars. The second car is driven by a gentleman driver, and my car serves as the customer car. They rent it out to occasional drivers for educational purposes, and it happens to be their oldest car. Because of this, the car has several minor issues, one of the major ones being the unpredictable cooling system. The turbo coolant system often malfunctions, resulting in turbo overheating and loss of performance. Water is supplied from a 10-liter tank for cooling, where it is mixed with a water mist to reduce the air intake of the turbo. If there is even a slight blockage in this system, instead of creating a water mist, it just drips or leaks somewhere, causing no cooling effect.

We have been continuously monitoring and addressing this issue, learning from the performance shortcomings we observed at the Hungaroring, and it worked fine. On average, the car consumed the 10 liters of water in less than half an hour. As a result, it still wasn’t the fastest car on the straightaways, but the situation was significantly improved at the Red Bull Ring.

Our car was the priority.

Since Michel Faye, the team’s gentleman driver, did not join us this time, we became the main priority. Guillaume Maio, the team manager, did not require much attention, so there were always 2-3 mechanics working around our car. It felt great to be taken more seriously than at the Hungaroring.

A two-hour extra test session.

We received a last-minute offer to hit the track on Thursday. Due to the large field, a separate collective test was organized exclusively for the Clio Cup Europe. It cost us half a million forints from our pocket, but we decided to go for it since it’s unlikely we’ll ever have the opportunity to have so much track time with the car. Fortunately, the practice session had both rainy and dry periods, allowing me to gain valuable experience in different conditions. I consistently stayed around the top 5, which was promising. We knew that many drivers were holding back, as we saw purple sector times flashing on the screens, but somehow they never translated into good lap times. In the end, I finished 13th with a time of 1:51.588, but this didn’t mean much since under normal circumstances, on fresh tires, the frontrunners were capable of lap times in the 49-second range. Additionally, I didn’t push at the end because the tires were worn out, even though that was when the track conditions were at their best. Nevertheless, the used tires held up for nearly two hours with consistent lap times, which is commendable for the manufacturer.

We had a two-hour test session, but unfortunately, we didn’t have new tires available.

Pénteki tesztek

On Friday, the official program began with two half-hour practice sessions. The first practice session went well on a drying track, and I achieved the fifth fastest time.

The second practice session took place in heavy rain, and I finished in 10th place. Unfortunately, I couldn’t put together a clean lap, and the wet tires were already heavily worn, so I struggled with the car in the increasingly heavy rain. But finishing in 10th place was realistic. We managed to find the right setup for variable conditions.


The setup we established during the tests worked well for the variable conditions. The first qualifying session took place on a drying track, and we knew that we had to wait until the last seconds to set a competitive lap time. However, the qualifying session was very short, and there were forty cars on the track, so I had no choice but to keep pushing continuously, hoping to find either a good slipstream or an empty space where I could go freely without being disturbed by yellow flags.

Despite the chaos with red and yellow flags, you managed to stay patient and push hard on your final lap, resulting in a fantastic sixth-place finish. It’s even more satisfying to know that there was still potential for an even better result. Your performance was commendable, and it’s understandable that you felt satisfied with the outcome. Well done!

The first race was very similar to the first race of the Hungarian round. I felt a loss of power in my car, and I struggled to maintain a good pace on the straights, forcing me to constantly defend my position. In the early laps, I was hit multiple times, and unfortunately, it was always the right rear wheel that got hit. At that time, I didn’t realize that I had picked up a slow puncture as a result.

I was preoccupied with the fact that the engine started to overheat. I turned up the heat in the car and hoped that it wouldn’t be a problem, even if it meant sweating off a few kilograms.

I fought for positions until the penultimate lap, but the understeer became increasingly severe due to the slow puncture. In the end, I had no choice but to pull into the pit. The car became undriveable.

After the race, we found out that the turbo had once again acted up. We immediately checked it after the release of Parc Ferme. Three liters had been consumed from the 10-liter tank, even though it should have been essentially empty. The system had clogged up again.

Magic Sunday

The second qualifying session on Sunday was a cold shower for us. We made a huge mistake. Since the rear tires on the rear axle were damaged in the first race, I couldn’t use them, so we placed the front tires on the rear and put two new tires on the front. This wouldn’t have been a problem, but the front tires, being used for only one race, wore out significantly, resulting in a noticeable difference in grip between the front and rear axles. The car felt as if there were no tires at the back, and I was sliding everywhere, unable to accelerate effectively. The main mistake was not coming into the pits to quickly adjust the tire pressure. For a long time, it seemed like I wouldn’t even make it into the top 20, but in the end, I managed to scrape together a 14th place on the starting grid.

We rechecked the car and the mechanics found another issue. During the first race, the rear axle stiffening plate broke, further increasing the sliding of the rear of the car.

For the second and final race, I approached it with confidence that everything was in order with the car. Turbo cooling was fine, the rear axle stiffening plate was replaced, and we adjusted the tire pressure. Although my rear tires were more worn out compared to my rivals, we compensated for it with the pressure adjustment.

Starting from 14th place, there wasn’t much to lose, so my only option was to attack and keep up with the faster drivers who also had a poor qualifying session. Jurado was in the row ahead of me, and I knew he would quickly make his way through the field.

Lap after lap, I made my way forward, and the highlight was when I overtook four cars at once.

I held onto the sixth position and eventually caught up to the French driver who was in second place in the championship standings. In the final lap, I managed to surprise him and make the pass. I crossed the finish line in fifth place, starting from 14th on the grid in a field of forty cars!

The next year?

During the two consecutive campaigns, I had the support of nearly 400 fans and companies, raising a total of 7,500,000 HUF (Hungarian Forint) to enable me to compete. It’s simply impossible to express my gratitude for this. I hope everyone was thrilled with my fifth-place finish. But there’s more to it.

For the year 2023, I received an offer from GM Sport, and I have to say, it’s an offer that I must seize. It comes at a significantly lower cost compared to the normal rates and the prices of larger teams. Of course, I won’t have the newest car, and we won’t be the biggest team, but I will have the opportunity to participate in Europe’s strongest brand cup over 9 weekends, on circuits that are on many people’s bucket list.

It’s also important to note that this year I competed in only two weekends, securing 9th and 5th place finishes. This means that I can definitely fight for a top 10 position in the championship if I can complete a full season. However, I had two retirements this year. In the 9-round European championship, out of the 18 races, only 16 are counted, with the two worst results being discarded. Therefore, such retirements won’t fit into the equation. I need to be fast and smart next year. If I can accomplish that.

For the 2023 season, we are relaunching our sponsorship program to cover the necessary budget. However, it is not our goal to rely solely on crowdfunding to finance the entire season. It’s neither realistic nor ethical to expect everything from the fans, as that is not your „task.” Our main objective is to find one or more main sponsors who can finance a significant portion of our expenses – companies or businesses that recognize the media and emotional value of our mission.

However, crowdfunding will still be available, and the names of all donors will be displayed on the car for the ENTIRE year!

The fundraising will have multiple channels:

  1. One-time donations with an amount determined by you.
  2. PayPal transfers with an amount determined by you.
  3. Patreon subscriptions with a regular monthly contribution.
  4. Corporate support/donations with invoicing.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone who supported me financially, with a like, or by sharing, allowing me to participate in two unforgettable weekends this year!