The second TCR Eastern Europe race at the Red Bull Ring had everything a regular spectator could hope for: close racing, a few bumps between cars, and a dramatic battle for the race win between Davit Kajaia and Sebastian Steibel. Kajaia eventually maintained the lead and crossed the finish line in first place with his Honda Civic.
Phillipp Dietrich (Cupra) started from pole position alongside Carlo Czepiel (Hyundai), followed by Davit Kajaia (Honda) and Sebastian Steibel (Audi). The third row featured Giacomo Ghermandi (Audi) and Maťo Homola (Hyundai), while the fourth row had Milenko Vukovic (Renault) and René Kircher (Honda). Milan Vukovic (Renault), the winner of yesterday’s race, started in ninth position.
Dietrich and Czepiel had a slow start, allowing Kajaia to take the lead before the first corner. Steibel battled with Dietrich for a short distance before moving into second place. Dietrich held onto third place while being pursued by Ghermandi, Milenko Vukovic, Maťo Homola, and Milan Vukovic.
Kajaia established a comfortable lead as Steibel began to distance himself from Dietrich, who was busy defending his position from Ghermandi. This intense fight created a train of cars behind them, consisting of Milenko Vukovic, Milan Vukovic, Mato Homola, René Kircher, and Carlo Czepiel. Chaos ensued in this group, with Ghermandi and Milenko Vukovic bumping into each other at high speed on the second straight. Then, braking into the third corner, Milenko Vukovic lost control of his car and spun out, slightly crashing into Dietrich before being forced to retire. Dietrich subsequently received a 5-second penalty for an incorrect starting position.
The safety car was deployed, and the TOP 10 order was Kajaia, Steibel, Milan Vukovic, Homola, Dietrich, Kircher, Czepiel, Ghermandi, Čížek, and Poschik.
Upon restarting the race, Kajaia held the lead in front of Steibel and Milan Vukovic, with Homola and Kircher close behind. Soon, Vukovic encountered a technical issue and slowed down. Meanwhile, Steibel fiercely challenged Kajaia for the lead, attempting various maneuvers to overtake. Homola observed their fight from third place, followed by René Kircher. The leading four drivers engaged in a dramatic battle, with some minor contact between Kajaia and Steibel. Ultimately, Kajaia emerged as the winner of the second race, celebrating his first time on the top step of the podium. It´s also first podium finish for Steibel this year. Homola was thrilled with his third-place finish, and René Kircher came in fourth.
Another group of drivers formed from fifth to tenth place. Dietrich defended his fifth-place position against Ghermandi, Czepiel, Kout, and Poschik. They finished the race in this order, but several penalties were looming, and it took some time before the official results were published. In the end, no other penalties were handed out except a 5-second penalty for Philipp Dietrich for an incorrect starting position. That meant Dietrich dropped to ninth place.
The winner of the Junior class was René Kircher, with Czepiel coming in second and Poschik in third. Poschik was also the best driver in the Trophy class, ahead of Adam Rzepecki and Antonio Citera.