Michal Makeš is preparing for his TCR Eastern Europe debut at Grobnik. Just before he leaves, he has given us an interview, where he spoke about his ambitions, competitors and future plans.
Michal, you are preparing for your TCR Eastern Europe championship debut this weekend. You will be racing with a Cupra Leon TCR car of Mičánek Motorsport powered by Buggyra. How are you looking forward to that?
I can’t wait to race again after such a long break. There should be 16 cars on the grid, so I believe it’ll be some great racing.
How are you happy with the new car? How was the adaptation? And what are your ambitions? Are you aiming for the highest places, just like in Renault Clio Cup series?
I’ve done some kilometres, but it was nowhere near to what I did with a Clio before my first season there, so there’s still a lot of work to do. I’ve got used to the car in the first test right away and I trust it. But, considering this series is much more competitive than Clio Cup and that most of the others have done thousands of kilometres with TCR, I’m staying a realist and I know it might take a while before we can fight for the wins.
How would you compare Renault Clio with Cupra Leon TCR?
The basics are exactly the same. You need to take care of your front tyres because they do most of the work. Considering that the TCR is more powerful, by 130 bhp, the front-axle is much more stressed, and you need to be more careful on the throttle. When it comes to the handling, the TCR is much more fun. When you get oversteer, it’s so easy to control, and even when you go over the limit, it’s possible to catch it.
You will meet your former Renault Clio Cup rival Jáchym Galáš on the track, who finished 2nd in his first TCR Eastern Europe season. Do you expect to achieve similar results as him this season?
Jáchym has already done one TCR season and he has a lot of experience. However, I believe that I’ll get better over time and that we’ll have some great battles with Jáchym again.
What do you expect from the reigning champion Milovan Vesnič, 3rd best driver of last season Dušan Kouřil jr., the newcomer Dušan Borkovič, who is a former European champion and a former WTCC driver, or Petr Čížek, who will be driving the latest TCR specification car Cupra Leon Competición TCR. Do you think that car can give him the edge? Especially over those, who will be racing with older Cupras?
I think that all of these drivers will be in the front. I’m glad that Dušan Borkovič has joined the series because now we can compare ourselves to one of the best drivers in the world. The new Cupra is definitely going to provide an advantage, otherwise, it’d be bad. However, the whole grid will be very competitive and it’s all going to more about the drivers and their setups than the cars.
Do you think that you can learn from racing against someone like Borkovič?
Most definitely yes. It’ll be a great experience for the future. But to be even able to race against Borkovič, I need to get on a similar pace as him and that won’t be easy at all.
What are your plans for the future? Do you see yourself in TCR racing or is there any series of your dreams? Or maybe something completely different? Perhaps, as a Mičánek Motorsport powered by Buggyra driver, you might be interested in a GT racing…
In the future, I want to be racing with TCR cars. The dream would be a TCR Europe and maybe some of the 24-hour TCR races, but it all depends on the money. The TCR is expensive as well and that’s why I won’t be able to do Endurance races in the ESET Cup. It’d be great to get some sort of support from sponsors, but it’s all much more difficult because of the coronavirus. The GT racing is obviously an option, but it’s even more expensive than TCR and without proper support, it’s not possible for me.