The fourth round of the TCR Eastern Europe championship at Grobnik was a great success for Milovan Vesnić, who has won after missing the last event, and also for second-place Groszek, who has extended his lead.
Very hot temperatures in Croatia made it hard for drivers and cars alike, but the conditions were the same for all and coming out on top was Milovan Vesnić with his Audi RS3 LMS TCR. He knows the track very well and is always fast on it. “My car was finally working perfectly. We completely changed the suspension for this weekend and we worked on the car step by step,” said Vesnić after Saturday’s qualifying, where he was beaten only by points leader Bartosz Groszek.
When Groszek stalled his Audi at the start, Vesnić took the lead and stayed there for the rest of the race. “Finally a good result, finally the first victory of the season, and I’m happy that the car finally works as I’d hoped,” said Vesnić, praising the car. He was clearly exhausted after the race, but the joy of the success was visible on his face.
Although Groszek from ADITIS Racing missed the opportunity to win, he fought from last position like there was no tomorrow. He was the fastest man on the track and managed to move into second place. Most importantly for him, he outraced his main rival from the Hyundai / Janík Motorsport team, Petr Semerád, who finished third.
Groszek now leads 13 points ahead of Semerád and the fight for the title has narrowed down to those two drivers with Audi and Hyundai cars. Milenko Vuković was also a contender for the championship before Grobnik. Unfortunately, there were some issues with his Renault and he didn’t start in Croatia. He now sits in fourth, 51 points behind Groszek. Petr Čížek from Fullinrace Academy moved into third place after another fine drive with his Cupra, in which he finished fourth.
A great pace was maintained by the only local driver, Žarko Knego. He showed off his speed during qualifying and set the fourth fastest time – his best result so far. After the start of the race, he had secured second place and it looked like he had the chance to make a podium finish. Then, later in the race, even after Groszek and Semerád managed to pass him, fourth place would have been a great success for him. However, technical issues with his Cupra had the final word and forced him to retire from the race.
Knego and his Auto Klub Dubrovnik team had high hopes for the second race, but Sunday’s programme at Grobnik was cancelled due to the death of track marshal Josip Mušanović during another race that took place later on Saturday.