The World RX of Catalunya (29-30 October) will mark a momentous homecoming for Pablo Suárez as the Spanish driver seeks a first win on home soil at the end of his second season of the FIA RX2e Rallycross Championship.
The 30-year-old, who is from Gran Canaria and lives in Barcelona, made his rallycross debut at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya last year.
“I was standing on the starting line at my very first rallycross race and there was a portal above me that said ‘FIA World Rallycross Championship’ and I was like, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’” admits Suárez.
“It was a case of let’s see what happens. I was leading in the first turn, but in turn two Jesse Kallio touched me and I ran into the inside wall.
“I lost two positions but it was like ‘Welcome, this is Rallycross!’
“I finished fourth in my first race, close to the podium and with all my friends there it was a really cool moment for me.”
Before rallycross, Suárez was a promising rally driver. He was the 2014 Canary Island FWD Tarmac Rally Champion, gained national experience competing in the 2016 Dacia Sandero Challenge and finished second in the 2018 Catalonia RACC Rally Challenge in his second season.
Suárez works at Spanish e-mobility specialist QEV Technologies, one of the founding partners of RX2e, which is how he came to the all-electric World RX feeder series.
“I was looking for a good electric motorsport project because I knew it would be more attractive for sponsors,” says Suárez.
“My boss at QEV said, ‘Why don’t you do rallycross?’ It was an interesting idea, but I’m a rally driver and I’ve never done rallycross. But then I thought, ‘Why not?’”
And Suárez has done very well in his debut season, finishing third in the 2021 RX2e Drivers’ Championship.
“I like driving in a championship where all the cars are equal and it’s even more so with the RX2e because there really isn’t any difference,” confirms Suárez.
“In a combustion engine car you can have a car with a bit more power because the engines can’t be 100% the same, but in electric racing they really are the same. You see that because the races are so close and you never know who will win.
“I’m still learning how to direct the races. In rallying you have two and sometimes three days to complete the race, but in rallycross you always have to do 120 percent in a very short time. It’s very intense and not that easy. I haven’t karted, so I’m still learning about the craft of racing and how to make good decisions in a short space of time.”
Suárez is also looking forward to racing at the World RX of Catalunya as it will be the first 100% electric event of the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
It will include a pioneering e-mobility experience festival, considered the largest e-mobility fair in southern Europe.
All major car manufacturers will be represented and there will be opportunities to test drive electric road cars, other modes of transport such as electric bicycles and scooters, exhibitions, trade stands and an area for young people to get a first taste of safety and sustainable electric driving.
While Suárez looks forward to visiting the e-mobility show, his main goal will be to win his first RX2e race.
And he’s arriving in great form – having finished third at Spa-Francorchamps last time out.
“Since the FIA World Rallycross Championship has come to Barcelona, it has raised the profile of the sport and rallycross fans are becoming more aware. They like it and want to watch,” says Suárez.
“It will definitely be a very special event for me and I want to do better than last year and show how much I’ve improved as a driver.
“I really like the track in Barcelona. I’m enjoying it very much and I’m going back this year with a lot more experience.
“Am I going there to win?
“I can’t say less.
“That would be a dream result for me.”