Szymon Jablonski provided an interview for us. He talked about this season, about plans for the upcoming year and about much more.
Szymon, the 2020 TCR Eastern Europe season completed three rounds so far. And we can say you are one of the biggest surprises. You scored two podium results and you are seventh in the overall standings. How are you happy with the season?
I’m more than happy! Hard work pays off. This is my first season in TCR, and the plan was just to practise, and prepare for next year, and then attack the podium. Now, after finishing races with great scores, and putting pressure on my rivals up front on the leaderboard, we know it was the right path.
Last year, you raced with Renault Clio car, but you wasn´t on the top in this category. But it seems that TCR car fits you much better. How would you explain it? And how would you compare Renault Clio with TCR?
Last year was a big lesson for me. I make some rookie mistakes that I’m not so proud of, but besides that I nearly every time ended in the top 5 in the race. Because of budget reasons, we only raced in 4 rounds of 7 in total. The biggest difference between Renault Clio and our Hyundai i30N TCR is the aerodynamics. On the first TCR races, I don’t really understand what’s going on and how it works. Then I take some lessons with Bartek Mirecki, who let me take his Formula Renault 2.0. In this car, aerodynamics takes a crucial role to make a fast lap. It helped me a lot. I sat back in Hyundai and just knew what to do, and how to use it to my advantage. The second big difference was the power. Clio outputs only 220 HP, Hyundai on that note is giving us 350HP and 460Nm. Third difference are brakes, you can break later and harder.
Why did you decide to enter TCR Eastern Europe? What do you think about this championship and what future do you expect for it?
I didn’t know I would be racing in TCR. It was a big surprise from my father. We drove to Tor Poznań to participate in the first round of WSMP. I was ready to see Clio driving out of our race team truck – but Clio wasn’t there! My new white Hyundai i30N TCR drove out of it. I couldn’t believe it. In that time, we made a decision to join TCR Eastern Europe and start my racing adventure in this league and after three rounds and some podiums we can say it was a very good idea to start my TCR career here. In future, we expect more drivers to participate in TCR Eastern Europe. We are always looking for some more competitors!
What do you like on TCR racing generally?
My competitors. We are fighting on the track, not on the grid. The fight on track is clean with fair play rules and respect to each other.
The final round will take place at Hungaroring. What do you expect from this round? What results will be satisfying for you?
As i said earlier, our plan with this season was just to practise and train. I don’t have any expectations and no one is putting pressure on me, but of course, I will be pleased to stand on the podium in the last round.
You are still in the fight for the title of Junior champion. You are third in that standings and you are really close to the leader Jáchym Galáš and to the second Michal Makeš. Do you believe that the overall victory in Junior standings is possible?
This year and season is full of surprises in all sorts. We always believe in success and we always will fight for it. But as I said earlier, there is no pressure.
And what are your targets from the perspective of the overall standings this year?
To be classified. Everything above it and closer to the top of the leaderboard is just good.
What are your plans for the 2021 season? Do you want to continue in TCR Eastern Europe? Or do you have some other plans?
We are now fighting for a budget for next year. Our plan is to attack TCR Europe and we are thinking about participating again in our Polish league WSMP. I learned a lot this season, and it’s time to grow and learn even more, and we are thinking TCR Europe is a great way for it. For now, with cooperation with BM Racing Team, we are creating a new brand that we can proudly present to you – Astronauts Racing. We want to add something fresh and new to this racing world, and I can promise you that you will hear about us a lot in 2021.
And what are your racing targets from the long-term perspective? Do you have some racing dreams, for example?
My short-term dream is to participate and win in WTCR. If we are talking about long-term plans, let´s say I will be blessed to drive in DTM and maybe someday… Formula 1?