As we reported in the first two of our three-part mini-article series, two excellent track racers will be in the field – or rather in front of it. Norbert Kiss and Gábor Wéber were approached by Tibor Markó, the race’s sports director, with a special idea: how about trying their hand at another discipline, and getting a taste of the beauty of rally racing. Thanks to another friendly contact, Gábor Jagadics, and because GR Motorsport was receptive to the idea, they could get behind the wheel of a small, angry Toyota Yaris GR.
After our conversation with the two drivers, this time we asked Gábor Jagadics, owner of GR Motorsport Ltd, who is also competing in this year’s ORB series in a Ford Fiesta R5 – a little about his own driving and a little about the GR project, which promises to be sensational by international standards.
“I was a grown-up when I first got into a racing car, just ten years ago. And I consciously started in the navigator’s seat, because I wanted to get to know the sport at race pace, but safely with an experienced driver. I also learned a lot in the BMW M3 with Balázs Novák, and I can recommend this solution to all novice rally drivers” – says Gábor Jagadics, who recalls the beginnings of his career.
“Then I changed seats at the Ring, also in a BMW, and I had my first taste of driving, and I can say I really enjoyed it. I’ve always been a cautious driver, if it’s true for someone, for me, that it’s not about winning, but about participating. More precisely, the experience, the driving, the atmosphere and the enjoyment of the race, so I pay absolutely no attention to the result, to the clock. At forty, I wouldn’t have had high hopes anyway, so I don’t really want to step out of my comfort zone, safe driving is more important to me. In comparison, last year’s 3rd place in Group N still fell into our laps, but I see that as a special gift. 2021 was a big change for us, because we were able to get into a real ORB rally car and, to our great pleasure, we finished every race, gaining a lot of useful experience. And this year we are racing with Viktor Tóth in an R5 Fiesta – it doesn’t make us go any faster, but it’s a lot more fun and enjoyable! We’re aiming for the same thing on the Mecsek, we’re aiming for pleasure driving,” he said, revealing a unique racing perspective.
And then let’s look at the other car, the two Yaris GR, which Gábor Jagadics, as the owner of GR Motorsport Kft., has already made available to the two guest star drivers, Norbert Kiss and Gábor Wéber – not as race cars, but as control cars. Of course, knowing the power and capabilities of the Yaris GRs and the attitude of Norbi and Gábor, we can still expect a spectacular drive from the “trio”. But how did these street racers come into the picture?
“I saw them last year at the Italian Yaris Cup and I immediately felt I wanted to do something with them. They could fill the gap between the ageing Mitsubishis and the very expensive R5s, I see them as a real cup series staple, a great way forward for the young, talented, up-and-coming generation. We got one straight away and set about converting it into a real, proper rally car. Entirely in-house development, with premium parts, not copying anyone, but showing the world the way. It’s almost finished, our tests have gone well; I don’t want to give away the fact that we might be able to race it at Mecsek, but that’s a last-minute certainty,” he says, revealing the behind-the-scenes details of the Yaris’ transformation into a racing car.
However, two street versions will definitely be here, and as Gábor Jagadics says, he is very happy with Tibor Markó’s idea to attract two well-known drivers from another discipline to rally. In his opinion, it is precisely thanks to exclusive experiences like this, colourful and interesting events that attract spectators and the media, that the sport can move forward and become even more attractive to many.