During the race weekend at Slovakia Ring, there was unusual interest in Žarko Knego’s car. It wasn’t just because of his new Hyundai Elantra, but mainly because of its unique hand-painted livery, which was essentially the first art car in TCR Eastern Europe.
The black Hyundai Elantra with white hand-made lines not only caught the attention of the fans at Slovakia Ring, but also other members of the TCR Eastern Europe community. “It seems like the livery is the best thing we have now. I have been approached by drivers and team managers who have told me that the livery is really cool and something different,” said Žarko Knego, standing beside his new car, with which he was about to race for the very first time in Slovakia.
The author of the livery is Tomislav Srbljinović, who works at Autoklub Dubrovnik team as a mechanic and at PL DESIGN as a helmet designer for drivers all around Europe. “We saw a winning Ferrari GT3 at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring and decided to do the same with a touring car. We had this idea a year ago, but Cupra didn’t work with the lines. So when the new car arrived, it was a great opportunity to try something new,” said Srbljinović, who worked on the livery for three days.
When the Autoklub Dubrovnik team received the car, it had black vinyl on the bodywork. But when they started to remove it, it began to peel the paint off the car.
“So the team decided to keep the black vinyl, and Tomislav came up with the idea and asked me to let him express himself without limitations. He did a kind of sketch, a few things on the car, and I said, ‘Okay, let’s try it.’ When he finished with the car, I was delighted with the result. We posted it on social media, and it had quite a lot of feedback,” continued Žarko Knego.
The only downside of the art car is that if Knego were to have any incidents or lose part of the bodywork, there is no spare parts designed in the same way. Tomislav Srbljinović would have to paint it again. It’s unique to this car. You cannot make exactly the same car.
But don’t fall in love with the livery too much. It won’t stay forever, as Srbljinović says, “Now it’s like this, but in the future, we will change it completely. I already have in my mind what it will look like.”
Žarko Knego’s weekend at Slovakia Ring was more about testing and getting to know the car, as he had only a short shakedown before the race weekend. He finished both races in 11th and 12th places, respectively.