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Mon 19 Feb 2024

Máté Benyó crowned 2023 ‘Rookie of the Year’

Máté Benyó has been selected as the standout rookie from the 2023 international rallycross campaign, after coming out on top in a poll canvassing the opinions of fans and industry insiders.

Máté Benyó has been selected as the standout rookie from the 2023 international rallycross campaign, after coming out on top in a poll canvassing the opinions of fans and industry insiders.


Benyó faced some stiff opposition in the contest, from fellow Euro RX1 ace Patrick O’Donovan and countryman Balázs Körmöczi (Euro RX3), not to mention flying Finn Tommi Hallman – undefeated in his two RX2e appearances last year – title-contending Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky (RX2e) and Euro RX3 front-runner Jens Hvaal.


Right from the outset, it was clear that Benyó was something pretty special, and if he was largely an unknown on the European scene prior to the start of the 2023 season, he would not remain so for long.


Fourth-fastest in opening practice in the Nyirád curtain-raiser – behind only big-hitters Anton Marklund, Andreas Bakkerud and Jānis Baumanis, European champions all – the Hungarian proceeded to post the second-best time in heat three and reach the final on his debut in the high-calibre field.


Fair enough, said the sceptics, but he knew the track well – let’s see how Benyó fares at circuits where he has no prior experience. The answer was unequivocal. In half of the heats in Portugal and Norway, the Korda Racing ace placed inside the top four – on three of those occasions, going second-quickest again.


He may have struggled slightly over the second half of the campaign, but the pace and palpable potential remained, making Máté Benyó a thoroughly deserving recipient of the ‘Rookie of the Year’ accolade.


“This is truly an honour for me,” enthused the 22-year-old. “Just over a year ago, I wasn't even sure if I would be competing in the European Rallycross Championship, and now, one year later, I’ve completed my first international season, filled with valuable experiences and memories.


“Being chosen as ‘Rookie of the Year’ shows me that industry experts and fans have taken notice of me and see potential in me. I’m very grateful to my team, Korda Racing, and my main partner, the Hungarian Motorsport Academy, for giving me the opportunity to compete in Euro RX1 in 2023. Last but not least, I want to thank my fans for voting for me. This gives me a tremendous boost to repay their trust and bring them joy with even better results this year.”