A dramatic battle was provided in the last race of the TCR Eastern Europe season at Most. The championship fight between Bartosz Groszek and Petr Semerád was tight, but eventually Groszek became the new crowned champion. Race winner Petr Fulín had to seek medical attention after an eye injury that occurred before the race.
Tension was floating around the paddock. Drivers, team members, and spectators were talking about the race finale, about the tricky first chicane and the mixed starting grid, as the first ten drivers in yesterday’s race started in reverse order. It was a proper grand finale for the TCR Eastern Europe 2022 season at the crowded Autodrom Most.
Radim Adámek and local driver Vít Smejkal started from the front row, the second row belonged to Žarko Knego and Adam Rzepecki. Václav Janík and Sebastian Steibel were standing in the third row and taking their places in the fourth row were the two championship contenders, Bartosz Groszek and Petr Semerád. Behind them were teammates Petr Čížek and yesterday’s winner Petr Fulín, who injured his eye on the way to the grid, when a small stone hit him through an open window.
Adámek made a great start, but, in fifth, Václav Janík had an even better reaction. They changed places in the first chicane and Adámek went off into the gravel trap and fell down into last place. Groszek didn’t wait around for an opportunity and moved up to the front as quickly as possible. He was in second at the end of the first lap, just in front of Petr Fulín and Petr Semerád. Behind them were Steibel, Knego, Tomasz Rzepecki, Adam Rzepecki, Čížek, Smejkal, and Adámek.
Fulín made a move on Groszek in the third lap and took second position behind Janík. His mission was pretty clear – to win the second race too. Now the two championship rivals were together – Groszek in third, Semerád in fourth. The former tried hard to defend his position, the latter tried to find a gap anywhere in which to overtake him.
In a couple of moments, Fulín passed Janík, who was caught by the two title rivals. Groszek made an opportunistic move while braking into the first chicane and moved back up into second place. Immediately behind him was Semerád, who passed his teammate Janík without any trouble.
The dramatic battle carried on. Both drivers had to be clever with their moves on the track. A defending Groszek and an attacking Semerád created the main attraction of the race. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. The crucial moment of the battle happened at the end of the fifth lap. Semerád suddenly slowed down and headed toward the pitlane. His engine had lost power because of a cracked exhaust and the battle was over.
The main goal for Groszek was to finish the race, no matter the position. He slowed down a bit and didn’t risk any trouble with his Audi. His current second-place position wasn’t important at the moment; he just needed to score at least one point. While Groszek slowed his pace, Janík and Steibel were able to overtake him for second and third place.
Meanwhile, Petr Fulín won the race, but this time it hadn’t been an easy one because of his injured eye. He sought medical attention immediately after the race and didn’t attend the podium ceremony. Janík finished second and a happy Steibel enjoyed his first podium finish in the overall classification of the season.
Bartosz Groszek finished fourth and, next to the podium, the big championship trophy was waiting for him. Petr Čížek scored fifth place; in sixth, finished Žarko Knego, seventh Adam Rzepecki; and in eight was pole position man Radim Adámek. Behind him were Vít Smejkal and Tomasz Rzepecki.