Next stop: Hungary

by Hal Ridge |

Nyirad in Hungary hosts round three of the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship in just over a weeks time (May 25th – 26th),the spectators and teams will be hoping for better weather than at the first two rounds of the RallycrossRX series.

The circuit is located near the town of Sumeg in northern Hungary, 180km from the capital city of Budapest. In an area formally used as a quarry, the circuit is ideal for spectators, who can sit in the large seated areas on the hillside that overlook the arena. The paddock sits on flat ground at the top of the hill, its shape enabling teams to park back-to-back reasonably close to each other, keeping everything close to hand. The track itself sits below the paddock, with the starting grid at the very bottom. An access road runs to the start grid in front of the fans and through a tunnel under the circuit.

The track itself presents a mixture of challenges; big elevation changes, blind crests and off camber corners making it a driver’s favourite. Commitment is key on a track that is a mixture of the first two rounds of RallycrossRX; the technical tight and neat lines of Lydden Hill crossed with the traditional sideways rallycross approach of Montalegre.

“The start of a race is tricky, because from the startgrid it is not far to the first corner, which is a very sharp left hander, uphill. This is only approximately two car widths wide, if three cars trying to go side-by-side one ends up in the guardrail,” says Kenneth Hansen, 14-time European Rallycross Champion.

“That’s followed pretty quickly by a 90 degree left, and then flat out up hill, we are up to 6th gear there. At the top of the hill is a 90 degree left and straight into a long 120 degree left hander. You need to hit the second left heavily, and you need to believe there is grip. The car slides but you catch it after a while. Michael Jernberg always used to say ‘That’s my corner’ because he was very fast there. Over the blind crest, you turn left on the inside of the entry to the jokerlap. The corner is very fast in fifth gear, the car is unsettled here. It’s a very challenging corner, the wall on the outside doesn’t give you any room to play with. Then it’s into a very sharp left hander where the jokerlap rejoins the circuit, and then steep uphill round a 180 degree right hander to finish the lap.”

The last corner of the circuit makes the transition from gravel onto the asphalt of the start straight. Those who carry too much speed on the entry usually slide wide here, watching laptime slide away. Nyirad is a circuit that leaves no room for error. With the high speeds and unsettling corners, one false move and there is a car in the wall in a split second.

Always a circuit that produces close racing, 2012’s event was won by Timur Timerzyanov, by smallest of margins, just heading Tanner Foust.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

« »