Michal Makeš is leading the championship standings after first half of 2021 season. But as he said in our interview, he knows that the championship title is still not certain for him and second half of the season won´t be easy.
The first half of 2021 TCR Eastern Europe season is over. You are leading the championship standings by nine points ahead of second Tomáš Pekař. So how are you satisfied with the season so far?
I have to say that the first half of the season was awesome for me. Being on the podium every race was a great reward for the work and preparations during winter break. Me and the team understand the car much more and we are getting faster every weekend. To be leading the championship right now is nice, however with two races being deleted and Tomáš having more victories than me so far, anything can happen and I will have to keep working very hard if I want to stay in front.
What moment from first half of the season will you remember the best?
There are many moments from the first half of the season that I like to remember. My favourites have to be Race 2 at Slovakiaring and Race 2 at Poznan where there were a lot of battles and the races were very exciting.
And on the contrary, what moment will you remember the worst?
It would have to be qualifying at Slovakiaring. We had pace for pole position, used four new front tires and I did not do a clean lap. I have to say that I was really disappointed with myself after that.
Third round of 2021 TCR Eastern Europe season took place in Poznan, Poland. It was a premiere for TCR Eastern Europe at this circuit. But it looked like the circuit suited you very well. You dominated in Race 1 and you moved from eighth place to second in Race 2….
I have to say that Poznan is an awesome track. It is fast, narrow and there is no room for mistakes. It reminds me very much of Grobnik. I was very surprised how fast I got up to speed on a completely new track and how the track suits my style.
Do you think that Poznan deserves place in TCR Eastern Europe calendar also for the future?
I definitely hope it stays in the calendar because it deserves to be there and I believe everyone from the field will agree with me.
The next round of 2021 TCR Eastern Europe season will take place in Grobnik, Croatia. What do you expect from it?
Because Grobnik is a similar old-school narrow track to Poznan, I hope that we will have the same pace. I always liked it there and I hope to get another podium.
It´s more than one month long break between rounds in Poznan and in Grobnik. So how do you spend this period and how do you prepare for next round?
For me it is same as between any other races, running, working out and training on the sim. I want to know that I have done everything to be 100% ready.
Is Grobnik round specific in any way compared to other rounds?
It would definitely have to be the temperature. When it is sunny without any clouds, the track gets very hot and it is important to think about the tires since we will do many laps in the 25-minute races and it is very easy to overheat them. Another thing that comes with the high temperature is to be physically ready. It gets very hot in the car and the 25-minute races seem endless because of how many laps we do on this short fast track.
What do you expect from the second half of the season, especially from the fight with Tomáš Pekař for the championship title?
Right now, I can say that the title battle is between me and Tomáš if nothing unexpected happens. At the moment I am leading the championship, but as I said, Tomáš has more victories and two worst results will be deleted so my lead right now does not mean too much. It will be a tough battle and we will know more after Grobnik. I am working very hard to be 100% ready before every weekend because Tomáš is very experienced and I cannot make any mistakes when going head-to-head with him.
Tomáš Pekař said in one from previous interviews that he is negotiating with Vuković Motorsport about possible start with Renault Mégane R.S TCR Evo and it could happen already this year. What do you think about it? Tomáš believes that he would have best car on the grid in such a case…
It would be definitely interesting to see Tomáš go to Renault Mégane, but changing a car mid-season is not as easy as one might think. Each car has to be setup differently and that requires some time to do testing. Another thing is to adapt to the slightly different handling. However, I would not be surprised to see Tomáš in a new car since both of our Cupras are quite old and are not as quick as the new TCR cars.
Opening photo: Petr Frýba