Weekend Review: The eye didn’t stay dry

Weekend Review: The eye didn’t stay dry

9. 8. 2023 0 News , , , ,

It was another hilarious race weekend at Autodrom Most in the TCR Eastern Europe championship, with Maťo Homola securing the title and two new faces gracing the winner’s circle – Petr Fulín and Adam Kout. The eye didn´t stay dry, and even the race track…

Slovakian driver Maťo Homola, with his Hyundai Elantra TCR from the Hyundai Janík Motorsport team, had a substantial points advantage before the Autodrom Most event. Both Davit Kajaia and René Kircher were lagging behind by 41 and 46 points, respectively. This meant that Homola needed to score 15 points more than Kajaia during the weekend, a task that seemed fairly easy for the most winning driver of the season.

However, motorsport can pen dramatic stories, and nothing is set in stone until the chequered flag waves. Especially at Most, with its tight first chicane, where accidents are not uncommon. But Homola had a straightforward strategy – stay safe and take no unnecessary risks. He succeeded in securing third place in the first race, moving one step closer to the title.

The second race was scheduled for Sunday, which dawned rainy. The light drizzle persisted throughout the day, keeping the track wet and putting many drivers under pressure. Some of them had never raced their TCR cars in wet conditions before. Homola, however, was not one of them and, once again, chose not to risk too much. Still, his fight with Giacomo Ghermandi posed a threat to his title chances in Most. When Homola finally overtook the Italian driver, he maintained the pace and finished the race in second place, securing his championship. Did he know he had won the championship? Not at all. Even his team members from Hyundai Janík Motorsport weren’t sure and began counting after the podium ceremony. Here, Homola accepted his second-place trophy, while his team mate Adam Kout savoured the glory of his first win this season. Both of them where joined by Giacomo Ghermandi, who finished in TOP3 for the first time this season.

Kout had come close to winning the race several times, especially at Hungaroring, where he led the race but was penalized. But Sunday’s race at Most was all about him. He overtook Ghermandi for the lead, created a gap, and maintained consistent lap times. However, Petr Fulín was slightly faster and began gaining on him, leading to an opportunistic move that resulted in a collision. Kout continued while Fulín retired with damaged suspension. It may have been that Fulín was too eager after his fantastic win on Saturday. Racing a TCR car for the first time since April, and this time in an Audi RS3 from the Aditis Racing Team, Fulín demonstrated that he hadn’t lost any of his speed. He scored pole position, set the fastest lap, and won the race one, marking a great comeback for the three-time touring car champion. It’s a shame that his second race ended with retirement.

There were four truly elated teams after the Most weekend. Naturally, Hyundai Janík Motorsport, thanks to Homola’s title and Kout’s win. Then, Aditis Racing, who celebrated their first win of the year thanks to Fulín. And definitely the Expres Auto Racing team, who had been waiting for a podium finish for a long time. Italian Giacomo Ghermandi finally made it to the podium after great performance in the last races and local racer Petr Čížek surprised everyone (sort of), with his third-place in qualifying and second place in race one. Not really a surprise, given his excellent track record at Most.

Now, there’s only one race weekend remaining until the end of the season, but that doesn’t mean the fight is over. It’s yet to be decided who will finish second in the championship. The battle will be between teammates Kajaia and Kircher from Mertel Motorsport. And, of course, the team championship title is still undetermined, although Hyundai Janík Motorsport is very close. Let’s see what unfolds in September.

TCR – Qualifying
TCR – Race 1
TCR – Race 2

Standings Drivers
Standings Junior/Team
Standings Trophy