Fri 23 Feb 2024

Suárez: Incredible to race against world’s best last year

Pablo Suárez says going wheel-to-wheel with the best drivers in the sport when some of the World RX regulars joined the RX2e field in Belgium and Germany last summer was one of the highlights of his career to-date...

Pablo Suárez says going wheel-to-wheel with the best drivers in the sport when some of the FIA World Rallycross Championship regulars joined the FIA RX2e Championship field in Belgium and Germany last summer was one of the highlights of his career to-date.

In his third season in the single-spec World RX support series, Suaréz wound up fourth overall and ‘best-of-the-rest’ behind title-disputing trio Nils Andersson, Isak Sjökvist and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, all of whom benefitted from the support of heavyweight World RX outfits in the shape of Kristoffersson Motorsport (Team E) and Hansen Motorsport (#YellowSquad).

Along the way, there were five heat race wins – more than his total from the 2021 and 2022 campaigns combined, including victory in the very first race of the season in Hell – and in heat four at the Estering, he was beaten by only guesting World RX ace Niclas Grönholm, posting a superb second-fastest time in the ten-strong field.

The Spaniard clearly enjoyed competing against the Finn and fellow world championship stars Johan Kristoffersson, Timmy and Kevin Hansen, Klara Andersson and Ole Christian Veiby, and as he looks back on the year overall, Suaréz does so with a sense of satisfaction, albeit also a touch of regret about what might have been...

“Being able to measure myself against world champions and understand where they did things best from watching them drive was something incredible that I made the most of,” he enthused, in an interview with TodoRacing magazine. “Rather than seeing it as something negative, in terms of having more difficult rivals, I regarded it as a fantastic opportunity and I really enjoyed it. I had battles with Kevin Hansen, which were very good while they lasted...

“[The season was] very positive in terms of partial results, since we had some very good races with good pace and intelligent driving, but there is a little bit of regret because we were very close to reaching the championship top three.

“There were some key races, semi-finals or finals where we were unlucky and things didn’t go our way, which cost us those extra points. Still, the three drivers who finished ahead of me were all supported by world championship teams, so I think we should be very satisfied.”

The standard-bearer for Spanish drivers in the sport and an inspiration to many of his compatriots looking to follow in his footsteps, Suárez is a big supporter of the nascent and burgeoning domestic series (CERX), which he is confident will help more of his countrymen and women to break through onto on the international scene.

As to his own ambitions, the 31-year-old Gran Canaria native acknowledges that he has been on quite a journey since switching tack from rallying three years ago – and he hopes it is not finished yet.

“The change from rallies to rallycross was not easy,” reflected Suárez. “Although it is a discipline that I knew and followed, it’s never easy to take that step. In the end, I did it and I’m super happy in rallycross. I’ve learned and progressed so much and, while I still have more to learn, I’m enjoying it a lot and I hope I can continue for a few more seasons.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
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