Despite an ultra-consistent start to the 2021 FIA World Rallycross Championship campaign that sees him sitting third in the standings heading to Ferratum World RX of Riga this weekend (18-19 September), Krisztián Szabó has admitted that he is ‘fed up with fourth and fifth places’ – as the GRX-SET World RX Team ace targets a podium celebration in Latvia.
After taking the chequered flag fourth in the final in the Catalunya curtain-raiser – barely a second shy of the rostrum – Szabó wound up fifth at Höljes and then replicated that result at Lohéac last time out.
A quartet of solid qualifying race performances earned the Hungarian sixth spot in the intermediate standings in France – scene of a starring run to second place on his Supercar (now RX1) debut in the FIA European Rallycross Championship three years ago. After safely navigating his way through his semi-final, he duly booked his berth in the final for a third consecutive event as both Hyundai i20s progressed to the last six for the first time in 2021.
Fifth position at the flag consolidated his status as the Hansen brothers’ closest challenger so far this season, but as he approaches the forthcoming double-header around the Biķernieki trase – where he won in 2017 en route to lifting the Euro RX Super1600 (now RX3) laurels and where he has never finished outside of the points in any category – Szabó makes it clear that he is far from satisfied yet...
“I had a good start both in the semi-final and final at Lohéac,” the 29-year-old reflected. “In my semi-final I could stick to Kevin Hansen; it was quite a good run and I finished second. I was happy to be in the final again, but I didn’t really have the speed necessary for a podium position.
“To be third in the championship is really good, but to tell the truth, I’m a bit fed up now with fourth and fifth places. I want to fight for the podium, but I believe in Riga it will come and we will be there. I really want to celebrate with some champagne soon.”
Those sentiments are echoed by GRX-SET Team Principal Jussi Pinomäki, who is hopeful that the Finnish outfit’s French breakthrough will spark a successful second half of the campaign.
“Krisztián had good pace in the semi-final at Lohéac and it was very good to have both boys in the final together, but we want more in Riga,” he acknowledged. “We will work hard for that.”