Groszek and Semerád: Championship contenders’ interview

There are a couple of days left until the last round of the TCR Eastern Europe 2022 season. Bartosz Groszek and Petr Semerád are going to fight hard, but fair, as they say in the following interview.

The final round of the championship is here. There is a slim margin in the standings after five events. How do you rate your season so far and your mutual fights on the track?
BARTOSZ GROSZEK: The season so far has been going great. We have managed to lead the general classification from the first qualifying of the season. As for the fight against Semerad, I like our duel very much. Petr is a fast driver who, like me, can easily adapt to new conditions. He has a faster car on straight lines, which doesn’t make the fight easier, but I’m enjoying it.

PETR SEMERÁD: I evaluate the season positively. I went to Hungaroring with uncertainty about how my competitiveness would be. It turned out that I adapted to the conditions quite quickly and was able to get used to the new (for me) type of car. The ESET RaceStar project and the Janík Motorsport team, who are really devoted to me and have helped me get used to everything quickly, must take a lot of credit for this. The fight with Bartosz has been heated all year, but respectful. The last time at Slovakia Ring, he didn’t have that respect, but we discussed it after the weekend and we’re going to Most with the understanding that we both want to win on the track – not off the track.

If there will be a head-to-head battle on the track, what can you expect from each other?
BARTOSZ GROSZEK: I can expect that Petr won’t let go easily and that the fight will be spectacular. Many times this season, we have provided the fans with great emotions and I think it will be the same this time. Petr knows this is the last racing weekend of the season and is not going to let it go.

PETR SEMERÁD: As I said, after Slovakia, we talked about what happened, and we agreed that we want to finish both races at Most. I haven’t been in TCR for as long as him, so I don’t think it’s necessary to knock on each other on the straights, to push cars at every opportunity and not leave room for the other. I’m for hard fights, but within the measure of some fair play. I expect a tough fight during qualifying and both races, but I’m definitely ready to go.

Are you going to take a “make it or break it” approach to the battle?
BARTOSZ GROSZEK: We have a good relationship with each other and we respect each other. Neither of us is planning to be a dirty driver, but remember that these are TCR races and small contacts do happen. But I hope it will be a clean duel. We are both on a tight budget and don’t want to crash our cars at the end of the season.

PETR SEMERÁD: I am certainly ready to go into it 100 %, but as I say, within the [bounds of] fair play. As I’m two points behind Bartosz, winning every point at Most is the absolute top priority for me, so I’ll be trying to do my best all weekend, just like my team and the engineers.

How are you going to prepare for Most? Will be your preparation be different compared to other races?
BARTOSZ GROSZEK: Unfortunately, this time I will not be able to help myself by training on the simulator because my rig is currently waiting for repair, but that does not bother me at all. I had the opportunity to do two or three sessions at the beginning of the year to get to know the track and it will definitely help me to get up there on the weekend. I’m going to the track with the mindset that we’ll win. Unfortunately, CW for the last round shocked us a bit because we weren’t expecting any additional ballast after we’d lost 1.5 sec in Q, but it won’t change much for us.

PETR SEMERÁD: Most is probably the place where I have an experience advantage over Bartosz for the first time this whole year. It’s my home track; I’ve been there many times, but I haven’t raced there for five years, let alone in a TCR car. The preparation will be standard, but of course we are working in advance with the engineers on everything that is needed. At the same time, I drive a lot on the simulator and try to make up for my lack of experience and so-called “seat time” in a real car in this way.