To the racing world returning Adam Kout made it to the top three in the final driver´s standings in his first season in TCR Eastern Europe. He was always among the favorites with the Hyundai Elantra car from the Hyundai Janík Motorsport team and victory was never far away. In the end, he achieved the win at the Autodrom Most.
Adam, after a three-year break, you returned to the race tracks. Were you nervous at the beginning of the season?
I had doubts about whether I would succeed. I didn’t have much experience with front-wheel-drive touring cars in my career. But after the first tests, I thought that the season might not be bad at all.
And it wasn´t. It turned out that you made the right move. You were racing at the front, fighting for the lead, and eventually secured third place in the driver’s standings.
Yes. If someone had told me at the beginning of the season that I would achieve such results, I wouldn’t have believed them. But it was an amazing season, and I have to thank Josef Křenek and Václav Janík and his whole team for the opportunity.
However, you were constantly learning throughout the season. TCR is a contact sport, which was one of the things you were not accustomed to.
Exactly. Getting into those tight battles was probably the most challenging thing for me. I had to learn how to approach them, and with each new race and experience, it came naturally. I had to find a certain balance where contact with another driver could be sustained without damaging the car.
You had experienced teammate Matěj Homola, who won the title, and rookie Carlo Czepiel, who finished fifth. How was it working with them?
I think our team was very balanced. Carlo didn’t have much experience yet, so every kilometer was important for him. After each session, we compared data with Carlo and Matěj and looked for ways to improve further. Matěj has a lot of experience, which he shared with us, and that helped us achieve better results.
Which circuit in the calendar suited you the most?
I think no circuit was a disaster for me. I had concerns about the Slovakia Ring because I had never raced there before and only tested it on a simulator to get a feel for it and not be completely lost there. But I enjoyed Autodrom Most the most, which I consider a kind of home race. Many friends came there, and moreover, I won there.
Happines was evident in you during every race weekend. How did you enjoy the season after a three-year break?
I had a great time. Perhaps I enjoyed it even more intensely because I had been away from racing for some time, and now I fully embraced those weekends.