The opening weekend of TCR Eastern Europe at Oschersleben experienced one big surprise as debutant Carlo Czepiel drove like a professional in touring car racing and won the second race. But in fact, he used to race in karts last year, and this was only his second start in TCR.
His talent is undeniable, as evidenced by the fact that Orlen company supports him. Czepiel made a deal with the Hyundai Janík Motorsport team before the 2023 season, and he is now a new member of one of the best teams in the TCR Eastern Europe field.
The Hyundai Janík Motorsport team dominated at Oschersleben, with Maťo Homola winning the first race after an unhappy qualifying session. However, Homola was and will be the hot favorite during all racing weekends. On the other hand, his teammates, Adam Kout and Carlo Czepiel, were unknown to everyone. It wasn’t a question of whether they were fast, but rather how fast they could be. Kout was back behind the wheel after three years, while Czepiel had just made the move from karts.
It’s needless to say that both newcomers were fast right away. Kout almost won qualifying, being surpassed only by Petr Fulín in the late stages of the session. Czepiel set the sixth-fastest time.
In the first race, Kout had a nice and dramatic battle with Petr Fulín for second place. It almost looked like Kout would defend the second place, but in the late stages of the race, Fulín found a way to pass the former superkart champion. Nonetheless, Kout was happy to be in the motorsport environment again and enjoyed every bit of the weekend.
Czepiel finished sixth in the first race. He couldn’t find a way to pass Sebastian Steibel for most of the race, as Oschersleben didn’t offer many places for overtaking. Czepiel finally made a move at the end of the race, but his true speed was shown in the second race.
He started from fifth place, had a great run to the first corner, and moved up to second place. Soon he was right on the back of the leader, Tobias Poschik, who was also a debutant. When the Austrian driver made a mistake, Czepiel went to the front, and that was it. His great drive made him the winner of the second race, and this surprised achievement was met with great joy by his family and team members. Czepiel showed that he is a truly fast driver, and with the Hyundai Janik Motorsport team behind his back, he could be a serious challenger for race wins. This also applies to Adam Kout, who finished fourth behind Czepiel, Poschik, and Homola. Right behind him was Fulín, so this time Kout held the position against the former touring car champion.
It will be very interesting to watch the Czech team with such fast drivers in the next round at Hungaroring. There is no doubt that the Hyundai Janík Motorsport team is a serious contender for both the team and driver championships.