The 2022 season has been a great racing spectacle, with eight winners over the course of the whole year and two title contenders, fighting fearlessly until the last race at Most. That’s just a basic summary of the fourth year of TCR Eastern Europe.
It all started at Hungaroring in April. Bartosz Groszek, driving an Audi RS3 LMS TCR, won the first race and the question became, who will be his main opponent throughout the season? The Hyundai / Janík Motorsport team looked strong, but there was no assurance that they would continue in the championship. Jáchym Galáš and his teammate Maťo Homola were in Hungary only to test and try the race trim of the Hyundai Elantra for TCR Europe. Another two drivers with older Hyundai i30N TCRs, Petr Semerád and team owner Václav Janík, weren’t sure if they would continue. However, their results changed everything. At Hungaroring and Red Bull Ring, they scored four podium finishes and Semerád sat third in the drivers’ championship, not far behind Groszek. The battle was on.
There was also Milenko Vuković with the Renault Mégane RS TCR that he and his team Besagroup Vuković had developed. He won at Red Bull Ring and took his place among the title contenders until the third round at Poznań, which was the last round for him for the season. Then it was all about Groszek and Semerád. They both won races at Poznań – Groszek for the second time in the season, Semerád for the first time – and continued their battle until the last event.
The tension between the two of them was high. There had already been some on-track contacts made between the two of them at Slovakia Ring and, during the first race at Most, another contact occurred. Semerád used it to his advantage and overtook Groszek, which moved him into the lead of the championship by one point. The final race of the season was all about their fight and how it would end. It was a marvellous racing spectacle. Groszek was defending his position, Semerád was trying to find a gap. Sadly, their duel ended prematurely because of Semerád’s technical issues. From that moment on, Groszek’s only goal was to finish the race. He did that without any problem and became the fourth TCR Eastern Europe champion. Semerád finished in second and, in third, was Petr Čížek from Fullinrace Academy, who was, thanks to making regular points finishes, a mathematical title contender until the last round.
Never in the history of the championship were there as many as eight winning drivers. Besides Groszek and Semerád, Jáchym Galáš won at Hungaroring, German driver Patrick Sing at Red Bull Ring, and former TCR Eastern Europe champion Milovan Vesnić at Grobnik. Maťo Homola and Petr Fulín scored two victories at their home tracks – Slovakia Ring and Most, respectively.
The team with the most wins was Hyundai / Janík Motorsport, thanks to Semerád, Galáš, and Homola. The Czech crew has won the Team standings with quite a margin over ADITIS Racing and Fullinrace Academy.