Žarko Knego is part of our series since its establishment. And the Croatian would like to race there also in next season. He said that in our interview.
What are your impressions from Slovakiaring round?
My impressions after Slovakiaring are not at the expected level. The weekend started quite good with good lap times. The car was reacting fine and I was satisfied with the setup. In qualifying, I had a technical problem and didn´t achieve my best time which I made during the free practice. The result was start from 11th position. I finished on sixth place in first race on Saturday. It was my best result this year. I was close to fifth place but I was still satisfied.
In Race 2, you had a huge crash and race was red-flagged after that. Can you explain what exactly did happen?
In Lap 2, I had contact with one of the drivers who hit me in my rear left wheel. This contact caused damage on the suspension which later led to complete suspension failure and accident in Turn 2 which is a really fast one. At the beginning of Turn 2, the speed was more than 200 km/h. I lost my rear. I tried to pull myself out of that situation but despite all efforts I lost it completely at the exit and hit barriers with more than 180 km/h. The car was severely damaged and unusable. I injured slightly my left leg as during the impact I hit the pedals. Fortunately, there are not broken bones.
But Race 1 was quite good for you. You finished sixth. This year, you scored points in three from four TCR Eastern Europe races at Slovakiaring. So can we deduce from that Slovakiaring is your favourite track?
I can say that Slovakiaring is one of my favourite tracks. I like the configuration with very fast corners but slow and technical middle part where you have to change the rhythm and be precise in order to make a good lap time. Also, the infrastructure of the track is good and I love coming there. The track is not far from Croatia so it doesn´t take long time to travel.
The final round of the 2021 TCR Eastern Europe season will take place at Automotodrom Brno. Will we see you there? If so, what ambitions will you have?
Even before this crash, I wasn´t sure whether I will be able to come to last race in Brno. Due to crash in Grobnik, I had a big cost to repair the car which consumed my budget for the last race. With the recent damage in Slovakia, I´m sure that I will not be able to participate in Brno. I sold the car in parts because it wasn´t possible to repair it and I´m thinking about how to prepare the next season now.
In Croatia, it´s very difficult to have some sponsors. I don´t have any except my company. Racing at this level is nice but also very expensive and the last accident that I had disturbed my budget a lot. I hope to be able to recover for next season and take part of this championship which I like.
Opening photo: Petr Frýba