Grega Šimunovič is a well-known racer from the ESET Cup, but TCR Eastern Europe happened to be his new challenge during this summer’s event at Grobnik. The Slovenian driver likes the championship and is looking forward to future starts with a Cupra and the Lema Racing team.
Šimunovič has moved from GT4 to TCR and is planning to take part in as many races as possible. “Our plan was to compete in all races: sprint, endurance, and the Croatian championship. Unfortunately, since Hungaroring, we have been waiting for some spare parts,” says Šimunovič, who was still learning the ropes of the new car.
Until the Tuesday before the Grobnik event, he didn’t even know if he would be able to start. “Our car was out of order, for both training and racing purposes. Luckily, we had a Cupra ready by Wednesday evening with some parts still due to arrive during race weekend. So I would say not the best setup for a joyful weekend of racing,” continued Šimunovič.
They had to deal with brake issues on Thursday. Those were solved on Friday, but a radiator puncture created an additional problem. Then, on Saturday morning, the shock absorber broke, and another one broke later in the day. “Instead of finding [the right] car setup, we had to do repair after repair. So the results were as they were: a start from penultimate position, the car handling was dreadful, and I just wanted to survive. It was not nice. The car was all over the place – not drivable. [I got] last place in the race… so it’s a race to forget,” said Šimunovič.
He also started in the ESET Endurace race and the situation was a bit better for him, at least for a while. “I gained four positions and I was able to follow the fastest GT4 cars. Just as I was preparing to overtake a KTM, he spun in front of me and we collided in a chicane. We were both out of the race and [during] the next lap, the race was stopped. Remembering what happened, my issues were nothing, and my condolences go out to the family of the marshal that died during our endurance race,” added the Slovenian driver
Šimunovič is happy that he took part in TCR Eastern Europe. He rates the competition highly, but, unfortunately, his performance was way off, as he said. But that doesn’t mean that he won’t try again. “I like the championship. I will definitely take part in future races,” added Šimunovič.