Championship contender and team owner Milenko Vuković had quite a difficult weekend at Poznań, but he was still smiling all over the paddock. The reason? His teammate and son Milan performed very well during his debut in TCR Eastern Europe.
“It’s a very emotional situation for me,” said Milenko during our interview at Poznań. “Milan came here without any preparation. It’s his first experience with a real touring car and it’s just incredible how fast he adapted himself to these new conditions,” continued Milenko.
The green-and-white Renault Mégane is one of the top cars in this year’s championship. Milenko Vuković is back behind the wheel after eight years and is leading his team Besagroup Vuković Motorsport into top positions as team owner and also driver. His teammate up until now had been Franjo Kovač, but in Poland, there was an opportunity to field his son in their second Mégane.
“It’s a very big step from a Twingo to a Mégane,” said the young Milan Vuković. “I had never tested the car and didn’t have an opportunity to prepare for it. But so far, the results are good and I’m very happy,” continued Milan, who finished seventh in the first race and second in Junior classification.
“He was even on a similar level with me in the second round of practice and had a great race pace, so he was able to fight with the opponents. It makes me very proud. I’m the happiest father in the world this weekend,” added father Milenko.
“I’m very thankful to my father, the whole team, and Josef Křenek for giving me this opportunity,” stated Milan, reflecting on his first race weekend experience in TCR Eastern Europe. His debut happened on a difficult track, where even the smallest mistakes can end up badly.
“Poznań is a very special track. Quite dangerous and very fast. Tyre degradation is very high after two laps or so and you have to adapt to it,” said Milan.
As mentioned, Milan finished the first race in seventh, his father was fourth. Unfortunately, the second race didn’t end well for the Besagroup Vuković Motorsport team. Both cars were unable to finish the race due to technical issues, but Milenko was still classified as ninth.
The fourth round of the championship will be held at Grobnik in Croatia and the plan for that race weekend is very clear: field three cars.
“We have one more car, although with old specifications. So we will try to prepare it so that we’ll be able to race it,” said Milenko, whose teammates would be his son and Kovač, if everything goes well with the third car.
Milenko Vuković is without a doubt the championship contender. He currently sits third in the championship standings, 35 points behind leader Petr Semerád. The weekend in Poland was difficult for Vuković because he had to carry an extra 40 kilograms of ballast after his successes in the previous races. However, he will remove all of the extra weight for the fourth round at Grobnik and it’s expected that he is going to be very fast again.