The upcoming weekend at Slovakia Ring marks the fourth round of the TCR Eastern Europe championship and the beginning of the second half of the season. Local driver Maťo Homola is the hot favorite for both races.
Homola, the current points leader, has dropped the balance of performance weight after the third round at Red Bull Ring, and will carry only 10 kilos in his Hyundai Elantra from Hyundai Janík Motorsport team. This is a great advantage for the Slovakian driver, who dominated last year’s event and is looking forward to repeating his success. His teammates, Carlo Czepiel and Adam Kout, are also looking forward to the Slovakia Ring round. Czepiel will carry only 10 kilos, while Kout has dropped all additional weight.
On the other hand, René Kircher from Mertel Motorsport, the second man in the drivers’ standings, will be at a disadvantage. His Honda Civic will carry 40 kg, while his teammate Davit Kajaia, who sits in third place, will carry only 10 kilos less.
It will be interesting to see how the balance of performance affects the race results of the top drivers in the standings and how the rest of the field will speak into the results. Sebastian Steibel from Aditis Racing scored his first podium finish this season at Red Bull Ring and is aiming to add another trophy to his collection. His teammate, Tobias Poschik, collected more points in the first round at Oschersleben than in the next two events combined, so he is motivated to improve his results. Their team mate and also team owner Radim Adámek is still waiting for the first points this season.
Giacomo Ghermandi with Audi recorded his best finishes this season at Red Bull Ring, crossing the line in fifth place both times. Petr Čížek from Expres Auto Racing team has finished in the points in 21 consecutive races, so it remains to be seen if he, and same record holder Steibel, will continue their streak. Čížek´s team mate Vít Smejkal also will be racing at Slovakia Ring.
The big news in the Slovakia Ring paddock concerns Žarko Knego. The Croatian driver has changed from the Cupra to the Hyundai Elantra and is standing in front of a new challenge with a new car. Knego has scored one point so far, as has Carol Wittke from Fullinrace Academy team. His team mate Petr Fulín jr. joined TCR Eastern Europe in the second event and is motivated to score his first points, as well as Adam Rzepecki and Sebastian Kolakowski.
Slovakia Ring will be the last TCR Eastern Europe event for Philipp Dietrich with Cupra. The young Austrian driver started at Hungary and Austria, and this will be his last race before fully committing to TCR Eastern Europe next season.
The first race of the weekend will be at 14:30 on Saturday, with the second race starting on Sunday at 13:50.