Red Bull Ring is going to host the second event of the 2022 season during the upcoming weekend. The Austrian circuit is back in the calendar and drivers of TCR Eastern Europe are excited about it.
The last time the TCR Eastern Europe championship visited Red Bull Ring was in 2019, which was also the inaugural season of this popular series. The return of the event has pleased a lot of drivers.
“It’s an F1 facility. I know the track very well; I like it. It will be good racing, as always,” said former champion Milovan Vesnić, who will be driving an Audi RS3 LMS TCR. German cars should have the advantage in top speed, as well as Cupras. Top speed is the key to success at this fast track and everybody knows it.
Another Audi driver is current championship leader Bartosz Groszek. He scored a win and fourth place during the opening round at Hungaroring and is one of the candidates for another podium finish. Groszek’s teammate from ADITIS Racing is Radim Adámek, who would like to score points and keep his squad in the lead of the team classification. A third Audi driver is Sanel Cehic from CS Motorsport, who currently sits in 11th position in the standings.
No more than six Cupras are expected to race at the Red Bull Ring and many of their drivers are looking for good results.
“Red Bull Ring should be good for us, so if we don’t have any accidents or technical problems, we will finish on the podium, I hope,” said Carol Wittke, two-time winner from last season. His Fullinrace Academy teammate Petr Čížek also hopes for better results and sees the fast Red Bull Ring as an advantage for his Cupra.
Last year’s winning Cupra will be seen at the track again, thanks to Vít Smejkal. The Czech driver bought the car from reigning champion Michal Makeš and is going to debut, not only in TCR Eastern Europe, but in TCR racing overall. “I have been watching TCR Eastern Europe since its birth and I was very interested in this series. It’s about the driver’s talent, strategy in the race, and searching for the ideal car setup,” said Smejkal before the start of the season.
Another Cupra León Competición TCR will be driven by Žarko Knego from the Auto Klub Dubrovnik team, and Sebastian Steibel from Steibel Motorsport is going to race an older generation Cupra TCR.
The Hyundai brand is back again. Václav Janík’s team has entered two cars – i30N TCR types for Janík himself and for the talented Petr Semerád, who currently holds second place in the driver standings and lead in the junior driver standings. “I really like Red Bull Ring, like Hungaroring. During the time I was racing formula cars there, it was probably my favourite circuit, along with Most. I hope that we will be able to maintain the pace from Hungary and that I will be able to fight in the Top 5,” Semerád stated hopefully.
A third Hyundai i30N TCR has been entered by the German team RaceSing. Private driver Patrick Sing has been participating in TCR Germany, but has decided to try TCR Eastern Europe at the Red Bull Ring. “I want to see how other racing series compare to TCR Germany. I like that TCR Eastern Europe has around seventeen cars or so because TCR Germany has less cars – something like thirteen. And I also like the Red Bull Ring, so I think it’s the best place to try this good, competitive series,” said Sing, for whom this is a one-off weekend in the championship. He’s not, however, ruling out future appearances.
Besagroup Vuković Motorsport will be back at the place of its first and, so far, last win of the championship. Tomáš Pekař drove a Renault Mégane RS TCR for the win in 2019 and Milenko Vuković hopes to repeat this success three years on. Based on the results from the last event, he has a real chance to do it. Gentleman driver Franjo Kovač is going to drive the team’s second car.
A couple more car brands will be represented by Tomasz Rzepecki (Basenhurt A&T Racing) with a VW Golf GTI TCR and by Levente Losonczy (Zsille Motorsport) with an Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR RF.
The first race of the weekend at Red Bull Ring starts on Saturday at 16:05. Sunday’s race starts at 10:55.