Newly-crowned TCR Eastern Europe champion Bartosz Groszek from the ADITIS Racing team has worked really hard to achieve his greatest success in his short career so far. Although he led the standings from the first race with an Audi RS3 LMS TCR, his title rival Petr Semerád made it very tough for him and the championship came down to the wire.
What does it mean to you to be the TCR Eastern Europe champion?
As I’m new to racing and I’m just starting my career, it means a lot to me. Especially after how hard it was to achieve. It means that my hard work was not wasted.
Your rival in the fight for the title was Petr Semerád. How did your relationship change during the season, as there was some tension between the two of you towards the end of the season?
It seems to me that our relations were and still are on the same level. We were our greatest rivals in the fight for the title and, during the times that various duels took place on the track, emotions were at stake. We held grudges against each other more than once, but in the end, we came to an agreement and we still have a good relationship.
You have had a couple of on-track fights with Petr. Which one do you remember the most?
I think I remember the fight in the last race of the season the most. Ten races of rivalry were behind us and everything was decided in that last fight. Unfortunately, it did not last long due to the problem with Petr’s car, but for sure I remember that fight best out of the whole season.
What do you think about the draw for the starting order of the second race? Did you enjoy starting from the middle of the field, knowing that you would have to fight through it?
I really like the concept. I prefer when something is going on during races rather than driving alone throughout them. I would only change the format so that, before qualifying, we would already know how many positions will be reversed (like in WTCR or TCR Europe), so that we could carry out some tactics during qualifying. To me, it is a very good spectacle for fans.
What was your worst time behind the wheel and what was your best?
I think my worst time behind the wheel this season was at Red Bull Ring. The compensatory weight hit us very badly. I wasn’t expecting that much of a difference in pace with the ballast. It was my first time on that track and I like it a lot, but I didn’t enjoy that weekend at all. On the other hand, the best one was the race at Grobnik. Yes, I did stall on the grid, but after that, I had the best race of this season. Overtaking almost everyone in 35°C heat wasn’t easy, but I was enjoying the race.
You were racing with an older generation Audi and your teammate and team boss Radim Adámek was racing with the team’s newest Audi. Weren’t you considering switching cars for the late stage of the season in order to have a speed advantage?
For brief moment we were thinking about this, but when I saw how unreliable the car was, I was glad we didn’t do it. It would definitely be easier to compete for the title with the newest car on the grid.
You were supported by the ESET RaceStar project this season and also the season before. Do you think the title can help you find some more sponsorship in Poland for the future?
We will see; I’ve already started searching for some more sponsors. It’s not that easy in Poland, even when you win a title as first.
It was your second season in TCR Eastern Europe. How do you rate the series?
I liked it very much, so after the end of last season, I decided that I would give it another try, but, this time, the full season. Mr. Josef Křenek leads the series very well and the level is getting higher every year, as is the number of drivers.
You said before this season that you wanted to fight for the TCR Eastern Europe championship, and you’ve fulfilled it. What do you want in the 2023 season? What are your plans?
I would like to start full-season in TCR Europe and to score some podiums there. I know it will not be easy even to enter this series because of the budget we’ll need to raise. But I would like to race there for the next season and to be a regular in the Top 5 results. That’s my plan for the near future.