Czech driver Vít Smejkal, who co-manages his team, Expres Auto Racing, alongside teammate Petr Čížek, expressed his enthusiasm following Čížek’s stellar performance at Most, which resulted in the team’s best result so far with a second-place finish. The entire squad is making the progress, although Smejkal is still awaiting his first points of the season.
The TCR Eastern Europe 2023 season did not commence well for Smejkal. He was forced to miss the opening round at Oschersleben due to health issues related to his back. Despite not being fully recovered, and likely never will be, Smejkal is fit enough to race his Cupra Leon Competición. “I’ve managed to pull myself together thanks to the support of my physiotherapist and doctors. However, my health issues persist and will likely continue for the rest of my life. Fortunately, regular training allows me to get back into the car and race,” Smejkal shared before the second race at Autodrom Most.
Autodrom Most, his home track and favorite, gave him hope for better results compared to his prior finishes outside top ten. “We’ve been testing here and it´s a home track for me. The support of my family, friends, and fans here is overwhelming, and achieving a good result is my aim,” Smejkal continued.
He finished in fourteenth place in the first race at Most, equalling his best result this year at Slovakia Ring. “I made a mistake in the penultimate lap and lost the chance to fight for a better position with the group of cars in front of me,” Smejkal explained, looking at the grey skies and wet track.
The second race was run under wet conditions, which usually present an opportunity for a high finish. However, there was a hitch: Smejkal hadn’t yet driven his Cupra in the wet. “I wish for at least one wet training session, but it’s always been dry. The team is making some setup changes, and we’ll see how it goes,” said Smejkal an hour before the race 2 began.
Smejkal chose a cautious approach to avoid any mishaps or crashes, finishing in fifteenth place, six places behind his teammate Petr Čížek who made an excellent comeback to the podium the day before. Čížek qualified third in the dry and finished second, still in dry conditions, proving that the speed is definitely there.
“We were immensely happy and it was a satisfying remedy for the issues we had previously. It’s a great motivation for the rest of the season and for next year. The cooperative management with Petr is working well and we feel good about it. We are satisfied with how things are going and that’s the most important thing. There’s a lot to improve on the track, but after a podium finish, we know we’re on the right path,” added Smejkal, who confirmed teams participation in the TCR Eastern Europe 2024 season.