Race Preview: Getting ready for the opening round of the 2023 season

Race Preview: Getting ready for the opening round of the 2023 season

3. 4. 2023 0 News , ,

Winter break has ended and the TCR Eastern Europe championship is heading to Germany for the opening round of the 2023 season at Oschersleben.

A new track on the calendar and new challenges await the drivers this weekend during Easter holidays. There are many unknowns regarding the performance of the competitors and the first race of the year will certainly be very interesting and will give a clue to the distribution of forces throughout the year.

„I am very glad that, despite all the problems in these uncertain times, an interesting and attractive field of experienced, but also young and promising drivers has entered the championship. The Oschersleben circuit is a new addition to the TCR Eastern Europe calendar, and all of us are looking forward to the opening weekend. The cooperation with the circuit is very good, and I am sure it will contribute to increasing the prestige of the whole series,“ says the promoter of the series, Mr. Josef Křenek.

Last year’s championship-winning car, the Audi RS3 LMS TCR, is back. Aditis Racing team entered the car for the Clio Cup champion and promising touring car talent, Tobias Poschik. His debut season should be about learning – also from his experienced teammates, the team boss Radim Adámek and new driver Sebastian Steibel (both with the new generation of Audi).

Will we see another duel between Aditis Racing and Hyundai Janík Motorsport like last year? We will see, but Hyundai Janík Motorsport team is one of the hot candidates for the title, especially thanks to Maťo Homola, who has been racing in TCR Europe for several years. Homola will drive a Hyundai Elantra TCR, as will his teammates, young Polish talent Karol Czepiel and Adam Kout, who is returning to motorsport after a three-year break.

However, other teams must also be counted among the favorites. Vuković Motorsport returns to the scene with the upgraded Renault Mégane TCR. Team is led by Milenko Vukovic, who won last year’s race at Red Bull Ring. His son, Milan Vukovic, will be his teammate. It should be noted that the upgraded cars are still subject to homologation, which is a condition for participation in Oschersleben and other races. Vuković Motorsport is also planning to field a third Mégane for an to-be-announced driver later in the season.

The Cupra brand will be well-represented with the new Express Auto team of Vít Smejkal and Petr Čížek. Smejkal already competed in TCR Eastern Europe last year in cooperation with Aditis Racing. However, for this season, he and Petr Čížek have formed a new team and split the managerial responsibilities. With Cupra, we will see again the Croatian racer Žarko Knego, who showed his speed last year, but unfortunately, technical problems prevented him from scoring more points. Fullinrace Academy has three Cupras in the headquarter, two cars will be at Oschersleben, one of them for German Carol Wittke.

The LV Racing team with Audi and driver Ivars Vallers arrives on the scene from faraway Latvia. The team, crowned with titles in the local BaTCC championship, is a big unknown for the other competitors. Giacomo Ghermandi returns to TCR Eastern Europe with Audi, having swapped the Cupra for German machinery and teamed up with Lema Racing.

The championship will also feature Honda Civic TCR cars. New on the grid will be the Mertel Motorsport team, with Rene Kircher and David Kajaia. On the other hand, Antonio Citera of RTM Motorsport and Sebastian Kolakowski of the Honda Wyszomirski Racing team are well-known drivers in TCR Eastern Europe.

From Slovakia, Milan Pokorný and the Hyundai i30N TCR of BRP Motorsport are preparing for their debut in the championship. The hill climb specialist plans to start the season at the Hungaroring.

It is clear from the entry list so far that we are in for an interesting season full of very fast drivers. A rich field will guarantee attractive battles, undoubtedly from start to finish. So don’t miss the opening round at Oschersleben!

Entry List