Mat’o Homola was crowned TCR Eastern Europe champion at the end of the series’ penultimate event in Most. Homola finished on the podium in both races that saw the local drivers sharing the laurels. Series’ returnee Petr Fulín dominated Race 1 on his first appearance in an Aditis Racing Audi ahead of his fellow Czech Petr Čížek’s Expres Auto Racing CUPRA. In a wet Race 2, Adam Kout claimed his maiden win leading a 1-2 finish for Janík Motorsport and Hyundai.
Race 1 – Fulín claimed the pole in a tight Qualifying that saw the top five drivers covered by less than five tenths, with Davit Kajaia second only 0.095 behind. At the start, Čížek from P3 had the best reflex, but Fulín held on to the lead into the first chicane; during the opening lap Kajaia went wide onto the gravel and rejoined in the middle of the field. Homola benefited from the commotion and advanced from fifth to third before René Kircher. Slowly but consistently, Fulín increased his leading gap, while Kajaia was struggling with the pace; he lost P7 to Petr Fulín jr and then P8 to Carlo Czepiel who was recovering after stalling at the start. In lap 7, Kout overtook Giacomo Ghermandi for fifth; then the Italian lost another place to Fulín jr in lap 11. There were no further changes, and Fulín scored his first win of the season from Čížek and Homola.
Race 2 – The draw for the reversed grid presented Ghermandi and Fulín jr with the pole and P2 respectively; the race started behind the safety car under pouring rain with Ghermandi leading from Fulín jr, Kout, Kircher and Homola. In lap 2, Homola passed Kircher for fourth, then him and Kout overtook Fulín jr moving up to P3 and P2 respectively. In lap 4, Kout stole the lead from Ghermandi, while Fulín sr advanced to third after passing his son and Homola. Then he focused on Ghermandi and overtook him into the first chicane; one lap later Homola too passed Ghermandi for third. In the final part of the race, Fulín closed the gap to Kout and attempted an attack, but he jumped over a kerb and the front left suspension of his Audi collapsed. With Fulín out, Kout cruised to his maiden win ahead of Homola and Ghermandi. Behind them Fulín jr dropped from fourth to seventh, promoting Kajaia, Czepiel and Kircher to fourth, fifth and sixth respectively, though after the race Kircher was penalised by ten seconds for hitting Fulín jr and slipped behind him.
The series will stay in Czech Republic for the season finale, on 8/10 September at Brno; with Homola leading by an unbridgeable gap, the focus shifts on the battle for the runner-up positions with Mertel Motorsport teammates Kajaia and Kircher split by four points and Kout 11 further points behind.
Most – Race 1
Most – Race 2
Picture: TCR Eastern Europe