- Rally specialist ready to switch disciplines for SM-veckan contest
- Olsbergs MSE driver describes ice as his ‘favourite surface’
- Spanish star has sights set on further rallycross outings in the future
Pablo Suárez will break new ground when he takes to the track in Luleå later this month, as the first Spaniard ever to contest RallyX on Ice presented by Cooper Tires (28 March) – an undertaking he describes as being both ‘like a dream’ and ‘one of the biggest challenges of my career’.
Although Suárez has never previously entered RallyX on Ice – which this year will form part of Sweden’s hugely popular SM-veckan ‘Winter Olympics’ on the frozen Lule River in Norrbotten County – he does have some prior ice racing experience, in Andorra in 2010, two years after making his motorsport debut in gravel rallysprints at the age of 16.
Since then, the Gran Canaria-born driver has focussed predominantly on rallying on both gravel and asphalt surfaces, being crowned Group N Tarmac Rally Champion (FWD) in the Canary Islands in 2014 and finishing as Volant RACC runner-up in Spain’s Regional Rally Challenge (Group N) in both 2018 and 2019.
Now, he is set to do battle in snowy Sweden, after joining forces with rallycross powerhouse Olsbergs MSE to enter RallyX on Ice’s Supercar Lites category. Whilst recognising that he faces a steep learning curve, he is champing at the bit to get going.
“This will be one of the biggest challenges of my career,” acknowledged Suárez, who grew up in a world of ‘amateur’ racing, with a father who has been rallying for 37 years. “With limited time to get used to the car and surface, my main target will be to find a good feeling and enjoy the event. I really feel comfortable driving on ice – it’s my favourite surface, despite not being very common in Spain!
“The rallycross format is almost completely new to me, but I’m working hard to understand it all and having OMSE as my team will help me a lot. I have to thank [OMSE Team Principal] Andreas Eriksson for all of his assistance – it’s like a dream for me and I hope this will be the start of a strong alliance.
“For now, we have an agreement for just this one event, but we are working hard to try to enter more races this year. I want to really get to grips with this discipline and hope to be able to contest a full rallycross season in the near future.”
Run in conjunction with the Swedish Automobile Sports Federation, Svensk Bilsport, RallyX on Ice will be preceded by official test days and will feature three competitions – for Supercar Lites, Supernational and CrossCar/Crosskart. All entrants will be eligible to win the coveted RallyX on Ice titles, while the Swedish Championship crowns will be contested between drivers in possession of a Swedish licence.
Entry fees are 5,000 SEK (c. €470) for Supercar Lites – which includes a place in the paddock tent – or 2,500 SEK (c. €235) for the Supernational and CrossCar/Crosskart classes. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Competitors should register at Anmälan Luleå ms City Race. Enquiries can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org