Basenhurt A&T Racing driver Adam Rzepecki is used to racing with a Porsche, but there were times that he felt alone on the track. He was hungry for close competition, so when the opportunity to move to TCR Eastern Europe came up, he grabbed it. As his first race weekend unfolded, he was smiling all over the paddock.
What was behind the decision to move from driving a Porsche in GTC to racing in TCR Eastern Europe?
I finished the best race of the season with a Porsche at Grobnik, but I started to think that good race weekends like that one don’t happen regularly and sometimes my races were just about driving alone and only fighting with time and pace. The Porsche is a very good car and the team and I prepared it very well for this season, but there has always been a lack of power in that car [that prevents it from] fighting for overall classification. Since last year, I’ve wanted to fight for top positions with GT cars. I often missed the enjoyment of fighting with competitors throughout the race. My decision was made because I became hungry for opponents and more excitement in racing.
How did the opportunity to move to TCR come up? Was it your long-term intention to join TCR or was it an unexpected opportunity that you seized?
I didn’t know what to do after [this season ended] and in the next one. I’d wanted to give up racing for some time… But mentally, I could not accept that I would quit racing. At Grobnik, the opportunity came up to buy a TCR car in very good condition. Thanks to Mr. Adámek, I gave myself a new chance to prove that I can achieve something in racing.
How was the weekend at Slovakia Ring? What can you say about the first race?
The first race – and all the time I spent on the track that weekend – was about learning the car and reminding myself how to drive a front-wheel-drive car. I am happy with the first race and it has already shown me a lot; the car is nice and we like each other. It has also shown me that TCR is really good fun! I wanted this!
You had a nice pace in the second race. Tell us more about the second one.
When I received the message that I will be starting from P3, I began to get scared and I didn’t want to (laughing). I was so stressed because I didn’t expect to start even from P5 at my debut… I didn’t know the car well yet and I had to push the limits. Unexpectedly, I was the first to reach the first corner. It was a shock to me… I held the position for a few minutes or more. When the faster cars caught up with me and overtook me, I made a small mistake and went out of the second corner, cutting the corner too much. Then I got a penalty for a jump start, and then I was distracted and flew into the gravel trap in the last corner… It was a crazy race, but I was smiling and happy.
How fast did you get used to the Audi, as you had been racing with a Porsche before?
I am still not very used to the Audi; I need to learn a lot to fight with the best. The Audi is easier to drive, yes, but it is not easy to drive fast immediately. The team and I are still trying to find the best settings for the car.
You are also racing against your brother Tomasz, and not for the first time. Are you hard on each other on the track? How does your approach to your brother compare to your approach with other opponents?
I am happy to return to fighting with my brother on the tracks! Our dad is also very happy. When we would meet at the track in the past, sometimes there was no mercy and sometimes he was angry with me…
It’s a different feeling, fighting with a brother than it is with other opponents. You have more respect, but your brother is still your opponent and you want to be in front of him more than anyone else. And I think that’s the biggest difference.
Are you going to the season finale at Most? What are your goals?
Of course I am going to Most! I need to be at this fantastic weekend! I have a lot of good memories from Most. I won two races in the Octavia Cup there in 2016! It was an amazing weekend for me. I will not be upset if there will be a repeat of it (laughing). I want to fight for everything at Most because I can do it. Let’s gooo!
What are your plans for the future? Are you going to remain in TCR Eastern Europe, or would you consider starts in another series, like TCR Europe?
We need to discuss it with the team. My plans are to start in TCR Eastern Europe next year, but I’ve also been thinking about TCR Germany. TCR Europe is, I think, on a higher level and maybe it could be the plan for future years. We need to look at the budget; it is the most important thing. TCR Eastern Europe is an attractive championship – many thanks to Mr. Křenek for his efforts. We want to support the series with our cars on the grid.