A lucky category win and a well-deserved podium in Austria

At the first weekend of the Eset GT Sprint, we started the season well with two second places in our category at the Balaton Park Circuit, consistently racing in the top 10. After the technical Hungarian track, we headed to Austria’s Red Bull Ring, where our performance disadvantage became more apparent, but we still had a successful weekend.

At the Red Bull Ring, the grid expanded to 23 cars, with five GTX cars starting the weekend. Besides us, the KTM GTX, which we tried to catch at Balaton Park, was joined by three Lamborghini Huracan GT3s, which were in a different league. The GTX category is very open, including everything that is not currently homologated as GT3, GT4, or GTC (cup Porsche).

Not only is our car the weakest in the entire field, but it is especially so in the GTX category. Our Lotus Exige V6 currently has 360-370 horsepower, while our category competitors have cars that are 150-160 horsepower stronger, not to mention other parameters. These differences are also reflected in the costs. While the Lotus is not cheap, the competitors’ cars are 2-3 times more expensive. Added to this is our usual financial struggle, having to save on everything. The first cost-saving measure is a much smaller team and practically always running on used tires. Is this complaining? No!! It’s a huge joy to race with these guys, and the GFS Racing Team does everything to provide me with the best car possible and to develop it throughout the year.

The atmosphere is like a family, but everything we need is here.

Before the weekend, we knew we would be at the very back because the GT4 cars are stronger. At the Balaton Park, I could catch up with them, but here I was consistently faster than only two of them.

Since all the competitors in the GTX category were far ahead, the focus was on salvaging points.

As we didn’t bring any rain tires—because we don’t have them—we were constantly hoping for dry conditions. Unfortunately, the schedule change worked against us; instead of two 25-minute sessions, there was only one qualifying session. It rained during this session, and although we tried to set a lap time on slicks, it was pointless, and we didn’t even make the 110% rule. Fortunately, we showed our pace during the practice session, and after writing a petition, we were allowed to race.

But why don’t we have rain tires if we want to race?

The answer is simple: they are very expensive. A set costs 700,000 HUF, which isn’t something you can just pull out of your pocket. At least, we can’t. Sure, we might have found a way, but it turned out that Michelin didn’t bring the right size and compound tires for us. No rain tires, no slicks. Maybe we misunderstood the communication, but this hasn’t been an issue until now.

As a result, we missed out on qualifying and had to run both Sunday races from the last place on tires that had already done several practice and race sessions.

A streak of bad luck followed by a stroke of good fortune

After the qualifying session, morale wasn’t high. There was a real possibility that we wouldn’t be able to race at all, especially with rain threatening on Sunday. Fortunately, we avoided any rain and managed to get to the starting grid.

In the GTX category, one of the Lamborghinis couldn’t start, so there were only four of us left. In the first lap, the KTM and a Lamborghini collided and dropped out. The KTM almost took me out with it.

The KTM hit me, but luckily it only struck my rear wheel, so the car wasn’t damaged. I was already in second place. This was already a stroke of luck, but the real twist came on the eighth lap when the leading Lamborghini dropped out due to a mechanical failure.

Thus, I won the GTX category and finished 13th overall.

We won, and we were happy about it, but we need to keep things in perspective. You have to be there, you have to do the work, and success can come. But this isn’t the reality. Anyway, the important thing is that the points are in the bag.

The second race was also dry. There were no dramas in this race. I managed to stay among the GT4 cars; they were faster on the straights, but I managed to do 37-second laps in this race as well, which is quite good for this package. The tires were completely worn out, and I took everything I could out of the car. This was enough for 19th place overall and third in the GTX, meaning another podium finish.

After the first two rounds, I am tied for first place in the GTX championship with the GTX driver, which is an exhilarating feeling.

Next up is Slovakiaring, which is an even faster track, but the middle section is very technical, where I will be strong. What this will be enough for, I don’t know yet. We need to get new tires, rain tires, and keep pushing forward. I’m already looking forward to the upgrades on the car; once they are done, we will be much stronger.

Thank you to all my supporters, the GFS Racing Team, for letting me participate in another fantastic weekend! See you at Slovakiaring on June 7-9.