Leave your mark here. Žarko Knego’s art car becomes a fan magnet

Leave your mark here. Žarko Knego’s art car becomes a fan magnet

Žarko Knego made a car change during the 2023 TCR Eastern Europe season, and his new Hyundai Elantra N TCR immediately captured attention with its special art car livery. However, when the season came to an end, it wasn’t the end of the story for this unique design.

The Hyundai Elantra N TCR from Team Dubrovnik embarked on a long journey from Croatia to Prague for the Racing Expo fair, where a large number of people gathered around the car. The reason was that visitors had the opportunity to leave their signature or a message on the hood.

“The idea came from our team manager, Miroslav, and our team member/designer, Tomislav. We were discussing ways to attract attention from visitors beyond just being exhibited. When people can leave their mark on the car, they become much more interested in details about the team, driver, and championship. We noticed that some people who attended the exhibition, and were not initially interested in race cars, started asking more questions about this project after leaving their signature. We have even gained new followers from the Czech Republic on our social network profiles,” explained Knego. He mentioned that he wasn’t present at the Racing Expo fair and only saw the car a few days ago.

“The first time I saw the car in person was last weekend at the Croatian championship race in Grobnik. Before that, I had only seen it in photos and videos. I was delighted to see so many people being attracted to leave their signatures on the car. It was a unique opportunity for fans of this sport to leave their mark on a race car. Usually, people can see the cars, maybe sit inside them if they are lucky enough to be a co-driver during a promotional event “taxi” lap on a track. But this time, they had a chance to leave their own signature or message. We see this as a great interaction between fans and our team,” said Knego. And of course, the special opportunity for fans continued also in Croatia.

“Some children even made drawings of race cars on the hood and doors. Generally, most of the messages were supportive of our team and conveyed best wishes. It was heartwarming to see the children’s faces when we handed them a pen and told them to write or draw whatever they wanted. At first, they weren’t sure if we were joking or being serious.”

“The car is currently on display at Hyundai Croatia’s main showroom in Zagreb and will remain there for a couple of months. Many people are still coming to see the car at the showroom and leaving their signatures. We even had a few famous Croatian singers who left their autographs and messages of support while the car was there. We hope this signature event will help us further promote our team and attract more motorsport fans to follow our races in the TCR Eastern Europe next year.”

Unfortunately, the car’s design, with all the messages, will not continue into the 2024 season. Sponsors of the team need to be visible in photos and on TV, so there will be a new livery for next year. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be something special.

“We haven’t decided how the car will look for the next season, but we have set the bar quite high, so we need to find a design that will not disappoint the racing community. Tomislav has quite a lot of work ahead of him to meet everyone’s expectations. At this point, we can only promise to have a car as different from the others as this one was. We are delighted to see that we have set some new trends in motorsport car livery design, as we have already noticed some cars in Poland and the Czech Republic working on similar designs,” added Knego.