It couldn´t be a better premiere in TCR Eastern Europe for Jonas Karklys. The Lithuanian driver took the lead in the opening meters and he had no competition since that moment. Bartosz Groszek finished second and Carol Wittke took third place. Michal Makeš was fourth. But the Mičánek Motorsport powered by Buggyra driver could celebrate his return to the championship lead.
The TCR Eastern Europe list of winners is longer by one name after Saturday´s race at Slovakiaring. The Nordpass driver Jonas Karklys took the victory already during his premiere in this series. The Lithuanian set the fourth fastest time in qualifying. But he had the best start and took the lead, partly thanks to the problems of poleman Michal Makeš. Since that moment, Karklys dominated.
After the start, Sebastian Steibel moved to second place ahead of third Giacomo Ghermandi and fourth Bartosz Groszek. But Ghermandi was too wide in one of the corners and left Groszek to pass him. A few moments later, Groszek hit Steibel in his attempt to gain another position. Steibel went off the track and Groszek moved to the second place. The Horňák-Aditis driver kept this place also in the remaining laps and took silver result.
Giacomo Ghermandi moved back to third place after Steibel had troubles. But the Italian was too wide in the same place as in Lap 1 during Lap 2 and Petr Čížek moved to third place. It wasn´t easy for Fullinrace Academy driver in the remainder of the race. Michal Makeš and his teammate Carol Wittke were close to him. And in final lap, Makeš was able to pass Čížek and despite he dropped to back positions after a very slow start, he crossed the line as third.
But he didn´t achieve podium result in the end. Makeš got a penalty of five seconds for contacts with Čížek and he dropped to fourth place. Carol Wittke moved to third place and achieved his fourth podium result of the 2021 season. Sanel Cehic was fifth, Žarko Knego sixth and Radim Adámek seventh. Petr Čížek had problems in the dying moments of the race and went off the track. He was only 8th at the finish. Steibel finished ninth after his collision with Groszek and the returnee René Martinek also scored one point. The Austrian finished 10th.
Giacomo Ghermandi added two trips off the track in next laps. He eventually stayed motionless in the gravel and retired. Tomasz Rzepecki also didn´t see the checkered flag. The championship leader Tomáš Pekař had problems in qualifying and he went off the track already in Lap 2. Before Race 2, he wasn´t able to repair his car in time and we didn´t see him on the grid. The Carpek Service driver lost the championship lead because of his absence. Michal Makeš returned to the first place and he is seven points ahead of Pekař.
Opening photo: Petr Frýba