Széchenyi István University's research engineers help the institution's champion rally racer

Kristóf Klausz, a student of mechanical engineering at Széchenyi István University, has been competing in the R5/Rally2 category since 2010, and from 2019 he has been competing in the R5/Rally2 category, aiming to win the national rally championship this year. The talented student is also assisted by two research engineers from the university: Máté Kapocsi and László Orova, who are also involved in the preparation, assembly and transport of the competition vehicle. The cooperation between the young professionals who have trained in the institution's Formula Student team and the pilot,  shows that engineering education in Győr is closely linked to motorsport.

The list is too long of the young professionals who have gone on to international success from the excellent talent workshops at Széchenyi University. Dávid Szegletes' path from the SZEngine engine development team led him straight to Formula 1, where he is working as a designer for Audi on the company's race car, which will make its debut in 2026. Máté Gyenis is also linked to the institute, having built up his professional knowledge in the Arrabona Racing Team (ART), which developed the Formula Student car, and later on he worked his way up to Norbert Michelisz's team. The list goes on with Máté Kapocsi and László Orova, young research engineers at the university's Automotive Industry Research Centre, who have been working with the team of the up-and-coming Hungarian rally driver Kristóf Klausz, Klaus Motorsport, for almost five years.


Orova László, Klausz Kristóf és Kapocsi Máté. (Fotó: Dudás Máté)László Orova, Kristóf Klausz and Máté Kapocsi (Photo: Máté Dudás)


"We knew Kristóf from high school, and then we ran into him in a material science class at university. We asked him to come for a test drive with ART to get feedback on the car from a professional driver. This was back in 2019, when we were in our first year of automotive engineering," recalls Máté Kapocsi.

"They wanted to lure me to the university team, but they were so convincing at the test that I finally asked them if they would like to join the then expanding Klaus Motorsport."– Kristóf Klausz took the floor, adding that soon afterwards they grew even closer, because a year later, in addition to the occasional cooperation, Kristóf officially joined the Formula Student team as a driver for two seasons. Just as ART was enjoying the most successful period in its history, he was coming home with podium finishes in three major European races.

"The two stories ran in parallel. We were working at ART, developing and building the car, while at the same time preparing Kristóf's car for rally races and accompanying him to the races. Kristóf needed people who he could trust to do the job: people who knew how to run a race car and, if necessary, spend the night in the workshop to make sure the car was in good working order. At ART, this was already a daily routine, so working together went smoothly," said László Orova.

The experience gained in the Arrabona Racing Team can also be applied to rally racing The experience gained in the Arrabona Racing Team can also be applied to rally racing (Source: Klaus Motorsport)

But what exactly does joint working mean? Considering that we are talking about a small racing team of five, it is mainly the support of the chief mechanic, i.e. preparing the car for races, maintenance, fitting and servicing. Máté is also responsible for taking over the car and getting it to the race venue. In addition to general tasks, László checks the telemetry of the car to make sure everything is working properly. He is also responsible for analysing the internal camera footage, which will help the car to accelerate further. "In a race car you need to understand everything from the engine to the electronics and the fuel system. It's a combination of mechanical experience and university-level knowledge. Our work at ART was the perfect training ground for this, as we had to design the car down to the last bolt, but we also assembled it in the workshop," recalls Máté. 

"There is not as much technological difference between racing cars today as there was ten years ago. That's why it's the background work that we can put into this project that can be an advantage: the set-up, the custom-built parts, the right data analysis. Because even if you're a world champion driver, if you drive a car optimised for gravel on tarmac, you won't win," Kristóf underlined.


"If you're going 200 km/h in a forest, you need a car that's prepared for it," says Kristóf Klausz (Source: Klaus Motorsport)

The team members all emphasise that without diligence, humbleness and motivation, outstanding results cannot be achieved.

"We're lucky because this project feels like everyone's own. It's a bit like a hobby for which we get some financial reward. We also travel the world, of course, and we always come home from the competitions full of experiences," said Kristóf, who spends his days working in the family business, managing the team's day-to-day affairs and studying at Széchenyi University.

"It's a significant daily workload, with both physical and mental preparation taking many hours. It's also a challenge to study, but I've had to learn to make time for that too. But during race week, it's all about the race and I don't do anything else," he said.

Kristóf Klausz at the 2023 Veszprém-centred Mikulás Rally Kristóf Klausz at the 2023 Veszprém-centred Mikulás Rally (Source: Klaus Motorsport)


Kristóf has been involved in motorsport since 2010 and currently drives a professional level Skoda Fabia, which complies with Rally2 rules. He regularly competes in the Hungarian and Austrian rally championships and also competes in European Championship events whenever he can. His biggest success so far is a national 4th place overall.

"We've tried quite a few car types and makes, we've had a lot of good results in the past, but the breakthrough in Rally2 is still to come. Last year we had some stage wins in Austria, but this year we are aiming for the Hungarian championship title. In the longer term, we would like to compete in the European Championship, but we need to raise funds from our sponsors."- He also spoke about his special relationship with the Győr rally race.

"Győr is a home track for me, so I regret that last year I dropped out before the city stage. Maybe it was the pressure to comply. That's why I don't want to put any pressure on myself this year, I just want to enjoy the race," he concluded.

Kristóf Klausz’s next goal is to win the Hungarian championship Kristóf Klausz’s next goal is to win the Hungarian championship (Source: Klaus Motorsport)

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