Latvian racer Ivars Vallers is having a pretty challenging season in the TCR Eastern Europe calendar. Being unfamiliar with any of the tracks, every circuit poses a new experience for him. However, he is performing well and is on the edge of achieving Top 10 results. Unfortunately, he has yet to score a point this year. “I hope we can achieve it in Brno because scoring points is our goal this season,” said Vallers during the race weekend at Autodrom Most, where he qualified his Audi Rs3 LMS TCR in tenth place again.
The journey from Riga, Latvia to central Europe is always a long one for the LV Racing team. As Vallers is a Latvian and German resident, sometimes the trip is shorter for him. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the team, including the driver, are newcomers in TCR Eastern Europe. They have been met with a highly competitive field.
“I don’t have as much experience as the other drivers here. I am primarily an endurance driver, so sprint races are basically new to me. However, we are steadily improving in every race, and as I have demonstrated at Slovakia Ring and Most, I can drive fast and secure a position in the Top 10,” explained Vallers.
Despite everything being new for him, Vallers is happy in the championship. “All the race tracks we have visited and will visit are new to me. I have never been to those circuits, so it’s very challenging. You’re unfamiliar with the corners. I can guarantee that if we revisit the same tracks next year, my speed will be much higher because I will already be familiar with them,” continued Vallers, admitting that he and the team plan to continue participating in the championship next year.
“I really enjoy this championship because the crowds are large, and the field is consistently full in every race. It makes me happy to be able to race here. I genuinely hope to stay here for the next year as well. That’s the plan, but it’s too early to discuss it.”
Interestingly, Vallers doesn’t use simulators to learn the tracks. He finds that this type of preparation doesn’t work for him, preferring to learn from real on-board videos. He also has a superb supporter: “I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Rob Huff, who is a good friend of mine. He has been immensely helpful. We chat and call each other, and he supports me by providing data and on-board footage. It really helps because he is incredibly quick and knows where to find the right on-board footage for me.”
Despite not having scored any points yet, Vallers is making progress step by step. He faces a disadvantage compared to many drivers in the field due to starting his racing career relatively late. “For me, this is only my third season in professional motorsport. I never did karting. Starting my career at the age of 31 and being able to drive a TCR car in TCR Eastern Europe means I have good potential. I hope that next year we can compete for at least a TOP 3 position.”