Zoltán Zengő’s eponymous Hungarian team, Zengő Motorsport, will be back in TCR action at the Hankook 24H DUBAI in 2021. An event it first competed at back in 2007!
World Touring Car Cup regular Zengő Motorsport will return to the Hankook 24H DUBAI for its eighth event start in 2021 and its third in succession.
The Hungarian team, founded by namesake Zoltán Zengő, made its event debut at the second running of the Hankook 24H DUBAI in 2007, its SEAT León finishing 7th in the heavily contested ‘A5’ class. Zengő Motorsport would contest the following four events in Dubai, capturing a best of 5th in-class in 2010, before switching its focus to the World Touring Car Championship Independents’ scene.
After an eight-year hiatus, Zengő Motorsport made its return to the Hankook 24H DUBAI in 2019, finishing 8th in the TCR class on that occasion before following that up with 11th at the rain-shortened 2020 edition. In 2021, Zengő will once again race a CUPRA TCR, an evolution of the SEAT León Supercopas with which the team raced on its previous seven outings in Dubai.
Arguably the team’s most memorable moment in Dubai occurred last year, when Gábor Kismarty-Lechner who has competed in both of Zengő Motorsport’s Hankook 24H DUBAI efforts in 2019 and 2020, proposed on the grid to his long-time girlfriend. She said yes!
Impressively, team founder Zoltan has competed as a driver on each of the team’s previous Hankook 24H DUBAI outings bar one in 2009, and is set to do so again in 2021 alongside compatriots Kismarty-Lechner, Tamás Horváth, Csaba Tóth, and Szabolcs Gál. With the exception of ‘Zengő Dubai Team Motorsport’ in 2010, which featured the UAE’s Nadir Zuhour and the late Christophe Hissette, Zengő Motorsport has consistently entered an all-Hungarian line-up at the Hankook 24H DUBAI.
Zengő Motorsport made its WTCC debut in 2010 with then reigning SEAT León Eurocup champion Norbert Michelisz on its driver line-up, the future World Touring Car Cup champion stunning the WTCC paddock by taking both his and the team’s first WTCC win at the season finale in Macau. Two further outright wins, two outright pole positions, and two Independent’ Trophies in 2012 and 2015, followed for the Michelisz/ Zengő partnership before the former switched to the Honda works outfit for 2016.
The team would eventually find its way back to the top step in 2020 though with victory in Slovakoia courtesy of former TCR Europe champion, Mikel Azcona. 5th in the overall teams’ standings with 185 points in 2020 marked Zengő Motorsport’s best World Touring Car season since 2015.
- Images – Petr Frýba