Ups and downs of junior drivers

The second event of the TCR Eastern Europe season had three junior drivers in the field and all of them had a weekend full of ups and downs.

The best junior driver of the weekend at Red Bull Ring was Petr Semerád from the Hyundai / Janík Motorsport team. Although he finished only one race, he scored enough points to secure second place overall and, of course, to win the Junior driver classification.

Semerád displayed his pace during qualifying, where he was beaten only by Milenko Vuković. Unfortunately, Semerád had a bad start and lost a couple of positions. He had to fight through the field and, just when it looked like he could finish on the podium, a technical issue with his left rear suspension put a stop to his efforts.

In a way, Semerád repeated Saturday’s race on Sunday. He had to start from the back of the grid and managed to fight through the field again. This time, his car held together until the end of the race and he was able to step onto the podium, thanks to winning second place overall and to winning the Junior driver classification. “I knew what my car was capable of and that the best way to pass people was on the outside in the corners. So I managed to move forward, up to second place, which is great,” said Semerád, who scored 18 points in the Junior driver classification.

Exactly 14 points were scored by another junior driver, Tomasz Rzepecki, with a VW Golf TCR, competing for family team Basenhurt A&T Racing. Despite a poor qualification, he fought with the opponents and finished seventh in the first race, which also meant snagging second place among the junior drivers. But the start of the second race was the moment in which Rzepecki shined the most. Starting from third place, he made a move in the third turn and took the lead. He remained in first position for a couple of moments, but it was obvious that his old VW Golf could not compete with the newer cars in the top positions and he finished sixth, second among the juniors once more.

Levente Losonczy, with an Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR, was the best junior in the first race. The driver from the Zsille Motorsport team brought the Italian car across the finish line in sixth place. It was a well-deserved result for the Hungarian driver and, by the end of the first race, he was already looking forward to the second. Unfortunately, in that race, during the fight for sixth place, he was hit by Bartosz Groszek in the last corner. Following the collision, his brakes didn’t work properly and Losonczy had to retire.