TCR Eastern Europe is unique in how balanced the starting field is. In 2022, it took six races before one driver managed to win for the second time in the year. However, there was a situation towards the end of the season where one driver completely dominated the entire race weekend.
Maťo Homola and Petr Fulín were, who conquered the whole weekend. Slovakian driver Homola has been active in touring cars for a long time and last year defended the colours of the Janík Motorsport team with a Hyundai Elantra in TCR Europe. When the opportunity came to compete at his home Slovakia Ring in TCR Eastern Europe, Homola naturally accepted the chance – and dominated.
Homola with the Elantra on the Slovakia Ring, which he knows very well. It couldn’t have turned out any other way than with a first place. He dictated the pace in free practice, then took pole position in qualifying with a 1.3-second lead, dominated the race from start to finish and scored the fastest lap: “It’s been a long time since I have won a home race and I’m happy about it. For sure, it’s better to win at home than abroad. Anyway, I had a great start, then I created a gap, and that was it,” said Homola after his win.
In the second race, however, he was in a much more difficult situation. He started from tenth place. There was no doubt about his speed. The question was whether he could past the drivers in front of him without troubles. The spectators got the answer after five laps, when Homola was already in the lead, followed by his teammates Petr Semerád and Václav Janík. “A lot of cars were in front of me at the start, but I’m used to that from TCR Europe. I had a good start and gained a lot of positions,” said the dominant winner at the end of his successful Slovakia Ring weekend.
A similar situation took place at the last event at Most. While the attention of the spectators turned to the final duel for the TCR Eastern Europe championship between Bartosz Groszek and Petr Semerád, Petr Fulín drove one perfect lap after another with a Cupra.
It was the first race weekend of 2022 for Fulín and he spoke with reserve about his chances. But after the first practice sessions it was clear that Fulín would be the driver to beat. After gaining pole-position, he made his way to the front with no problems and won easily. “I wanted to enjoy the race. Who knows when I will be racing again, so I went for it. I drove at maximum speed until three or four laps to the finish,” said Fulín after the race.
He was similarly convincing in Sunday’s race, but this time the situation was much harder for him. “I left my window open during my lap out onto the starting grid and Rzepecki drove in front of me. A stone probably flew from his car right into my eye. It hurt a lot and, when I looked into the mirror in the car, my eye was red. A medic checked me and said that she didn’t want me to race, but I persuaded her. So I started and enjoyed the race, the passing, and the leading. However, during the last four laps, when I was alone in the front, it was really bad and I was in pain,” said Fulín, who had to seek medical attention right after the race and wasn´t able to attend podium ceremony.
So Maťo Homola and Petr Fulín are the only drivers, who dominated one race weekend and were able to score a victory in both races at the same track.