Petr Čížek had to retire from first place in the second race at Automotodrom Grobnik. But the Fullinrace Academy driver believes that next races will turn out better for him. He said that and much more in our interview.
The first four rounds of the 2021 TCR Eastern Europe season are done. You are 11th with 19 points. So how are you happy so far?
I can´t be happy with this season at all. In effect, we had some technical problems every weekend. I know we have the pace so I´m all the more sorry.
The fourth round at Automotodrom Grobnik definitely wasn´t boring for you. At first, you finished seventh in race one and you secured the pole position for race two by this result. How did you feel it when you learned you will start from pole position?
I have to admit I definitely wasn´t satisfied with 7th place from race one. But it was a miracle that we kept 7th place after the problems in qualifying and after subsequent repairs. We repaired only what time allowed. I wished Milovan (Milovan Vesnić, the winner of race one – editorial note) to draw seven. As I said, we had the pace.
Unfortunately, your engine went out at the start of second race and you fell to the end of the field. Can you describe what exactly did happen and what were you feeling in that moment?
We didn´t properly analyze this situation with my engineer yet but initial quick study showed that there were problems with electronics. I said to myself that I probably won´t achieve the victory so I will fight nicely with my opponents at least in that moment.
But shortly after your bad start, race was red-flagged and you got a second chance. And in this case, you had a much more successful start. You kept first place and you led also in next laps. But after that, you parked your car and you retired. Can you describe for us what exactly caused your retirement?
I had a good second start and I kept the lead by some half a second ahead of Tomáš Pekař. But after four laps, my splitter came loose and my race was over.
Do you believe you would keep the first place and achieve your first victory in TCR Eastern Europe without technical problems?
I believe that if I didn´t have the problems I could achieve it. As I know Tomáš (Pekař – editorial note), he would let me win (he laughs – editorial note). But now seriously. We knew that old Cupra cars struggled with a higher degradation of front tyres and they bet everything on a regularity drive in a good pace. After the weekend, we again said it will work out next time.
What do you expect from the remaining rounds of the 2021 TCR Eastern Europe season at Slovakiaring and in Brno? Do you believe you can achieve podium results or even victory? Fullinrace Academy team already achieved three podiums this year…
I already don´t expect anything. I just wish the beautiful weather, no crashes and everyone as satisfied and full of impressions after the race weekends. Everything can happen, it´s motorsport. I´m always optimistic so I always believe. In addition, I quite like Slovakiaring.
The 2021 season is in the second half. So do you already have any idea about your racing programme for 2022 season?
We didn´t speak about the 2022 season so far. The winter will be long. We have to sit down at the table with team and say where we will want to race in 2022. But the 2021 season is still going on and we are fully focused on a successful finish of it.
Opening photo: Petr Frýba