Meet our racing driver student, Krisztián Szabó

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Our student, Krisztián Szabó participated in the ChampTruck race series in Las Vegas and finished third in the season.

Last November Index published an article about your success in the ChampTruck race in Las Vegas where you finished at third place. Is this your category of racing?

It was rather an episode. In 2014 I received an invitation from a Hungarian team. They wanted to participate in a series in the US and they needed a pilot, so they contacted me, and I said yes.

How did your interest and racing career begin?

My father was racing in quad and as a kid I really wanted to do the same. But he thought that it would be too dangerous for a young kid so he rather guided me towards to do autocross. Quad is a four-wheel motorcycle and he thought it would be dangerous for a 14-15 year old boy on his own, in the forest, with this big vehicle. Autocross is going on in a closed track, in a single-seater buggy. I was already driving a kart at the age of 7 but I began car racing in autocross in a more serious way. Earlier I was skiing and I was rather successful in that as well on a national level. I felt, however, that to achieve a really good level at skiing on a European or world level requires too much and I was not sure that I was capable for all that. I would not say that it is impossible for a Hungarian but it is very difficult. I also and always wanted to be the best at whatever I do.  Competition is really a driving force for me. Autocross was my field for long, I did autocross for 6 years, I won the junior European cup twice and the European Championship for autocross drivers in the Buggy1600 category. I was 21 at that time.

Right after the secondary school you came here to IBS. Why did you choose this school?

Honestly, I wanted to be an architect so I went to the open day of the Technical University. In the secondary school I did everything accordingly, I was in a special mathematics and physics class, I was really preparing to become an architect. I went to the open days of some universities and I could compare them. Somehow, I liked the atmosphere and the whole set-up much more here. So, it was the IBS open day that convinced me to come here and now I am in my final year.

You are really good at racing and your international car racing career is very promising and rising. Why do you still think that you need to have a university degree?

I really would like to make my living from car racing and things are going well now, and I am absolutely happy about it. But to make a living from it is not a long chance. A sport career can be interrupted any time for various reasons. So, realistically a whole life cannot be built exclusively on a sport career.

How long can you pursue this kind of sport career?

For long. In the field where I am racing now the oldest drivers are around their mid- 40s. Those pilots who are taking part for example on the Dakar Rally are around 50 and they are in very good shape, they are working out and taking care of their physical condition. Different races require different dispositions. For the Dakar Rally you need to be rather experienced and calm. The race where I am going now is the complete opposite of this.

What is your topmost aim in car racing?

I would like to be an internationally well-known, acknowledged racing driver. I have a PR expert who is working with me, together with some other pilots, to build up my publicity, public image. I already have a few really good publications for example on Index.hu, and several TV appearance. This year I would like to win the European Championship in my category, and in the near future I would like to participate in the world championship.

Do you have good chances?

I think with my team, which is a German team, Volland Racing, I have good chances. I have a physical coach as well, we do exercises specially good for racing drivers, to improve balance, reaction time, coordination etc.

Are there Hungarian pilots who could reach what you aim at?

Yes, Norbert Michelisz is one of them, he is racing in a different category but he is very good. Earlier Csaba Kesjár was also very successful, or Attila Ferjáncz.

What kind of subjects do you like at IBS?

I really like subjects where we need to use mathematics, as I wanted to be an architect and maths was always important for me. In secondary school I studied special maths and physics. To be honest, I do not like to memorize hundreds of pages but with maths you understand something and you think, and try to resolve a question or problem. I also like professor Bálint Nagy’s classes.

Do you have friends at IBS? Do they know about your racing driver activity?

Yes, I do and I try to meet my friends here and I try to miss the minimum amount of classes because of races abroad. The next weekend I am going to Sweden to the next event of the championship. Previously this year I had a race in Portugal and in England where I won. Currently I am leading the championship. There are students here who learnt about my racing driver activity only last year after the article on Index. I did not come to IBS with a big face that here I am, I am a racing driver, I did not make it a secret but did not show off with it either. Many of my teachers learnt about it from Index as well, and came to me and congratulated after publication.

Do you have time to relax?

From March through mid-October it is racing season. At this time, I am travelling or racing mostly. There is a short break during summer when I rest. I live in Vác where we have a garage as well. I do some errands and manual things there and this is what really relaxes me.