Kiss reunites with his ‘bunch’ as Tankpool24 Racing regroups for 2019
Two-time FIA European Truck Racing Championship title-winner, Norbert Kiss, is looking forward to the challenge of the upcoming season as his Tankpool24 Racing outfit undergoes several personnel changes.
Former members of the OXXO Racing Team, Csaba Bako and Imi Szal, that took Kiss to two European crowns in 2015 and ’16 have reunited with the Hungarian racer at Team Tankpool24 Racing as the squad prepares to mount its 2019 challenge with a pair of Mercedes-Benz trucks.
“I am very happy to be working with Csaba again!” said Kiss.
“We have a great history together and we set some records in 2015. It’s not just only Csaba though, as Imi Szell, who was the chief mechanics during our championship-winning times, will work with us as well.
“I think they are a great addition to our existing Tankpool24 Racing team set up and if anyone can do this, it’s this bunch of guys. It's only a question of time and money.”
Bako started out truck racing back in 2009 as a ‘data engineer’ of the OXXO Racing Team and then went on to become the chief engineer of the squad before working with drivers such as Ryan Smith, Ray Coleman and, most recently, Sascha Lenz. He then became Tankpool24 Racing’s chief engineer.
His role also includes data engineering and leading the team of mechanics.
“I'm really happy that we can work together again. This is also a huge challenge for me as this is the first time I work with a Mercedes truck,” said Bako.
Engine requires “focused improvements”
Assessing the current state of the Tankpool24 Racing package, both Kiss and Bako admitted that the engine is the key area of attention at the moment.
“We have a harder job than most of the other teams because we have to provide the engine for ourselves,” Kiss admitted.
“That turned out to be much more challenging than we could have imagined but we keep working [on it].”
Bako agrees with his compatriot. “We try to do our best to improve the race truck, but the biggest improvement is needed within the engine," he explained.
"Still, we develop the other parts of the trucks to gain some performance and reliability is our top priority."
Looking back at his 2018 campaign, Kiss is hopeful of having a stronger season this year.
“It [the 2018 season] was not the best, to say the least. It started not too bad because we were consistent but we missed the race wins which we had in the previous season," said Kiss.
“I could feel we are in for a hard time which [eventually] happened in the last couple of race weekends where it all went downhill. We definitely have to raise our game in 2019.
“We have some new ideas and plans and I am happy to work towards our goal which is to get back to the top three. It won't be easy and surely will take more time than I planned, but I'm willing to put the work and the time [required] in,” concluded the 33-year-old.