From gravel to tarmac, Péter Palotás is looking for a new challenge

From gravel to tarmac, Péter Palotás is looking for a new challenge

Race driver Péter Palotás is a well-known figure in the autocross and rallycross scene. The Hungarian racer is one of the front runners in his home country and Central Europe. But now, he is looking forward to something different – the Clio Cup. We will see Palotás behind the wheel of a Clio V in the colors of the PLTS Racing team.

Can you share with us how you first became interested in racing and what inspired you to pursue it as a race driver?
I participated in a driving experience program more than 15 years ago and, following the instructor’s advice, I started a training program to become a race driver. I began in autocross and later also competed in rallycross, parallel to that, I completed a lot of testing on tarmac tracks as well.

Tell us about your history in motorsport. Where did you race, and what achievement are you most proud of?
In 2022, I achieved second place in the Hungarian Autocross Championships in the Touring Autocross category, and the same year, the 4th position in the CEZ Autocross Championship. In 2023, I also secured the second position in the Hungarian Rallycross Championship in the SuperCar category.

What is behind your decision to move to Clio Cup?
I started to test an Alpine Renault Clio V in 2023 on tarmac tracks and visited many races. The reason for my decision mainly was that in autocross and rallycross races, if you have a good position on the starting grid and have a good start, you’ve almost won the race already. These final races are only 5-6 laps and I see much more challenge in the Clio Cup, much more possibility to fight for a better position or for the glory.

With the new racing season approaching, how are you preparing yourself for the Clio Cup?
As I mentioned above, we are continuously testing the car and my skills as well. Parallel to that, I focus on physical fitness training, running, and analyzing previous races.

What are your goals for the upcoming Clio Cup season?
Our goal is to get familiar with the Clio Cup and the new kind of racing on tarmac, which requires completely different skills than racing on gravel. So, in the first year, we focus on gaining as much experience as we can, but of course, we will fight for the podiums.

Are you going to race elsewhere this year, or will the Clio Cup be your main focus?
There are some traditional rallycross/autocross races in Hungary we plan to participate in, but not for the whole season, as our focus is now on the Clio Cup. So, if there is a time conflict, we will keep the Clio Cup as a priority.