Milan Vuković became the first driver of the 2023 season to win more than once in TCR Eastern Europe. The young Swiss racer led from start to finish, and although he was under constant pressure from second-place René Kircher, he managed to keep the lead until the checkered flag. Vuković’s father Milenko finished in third position.
Milan Vuković started from pole position for the first time in his career, with René Kircher next to him and their teammates Milenko Vuković and Davit Kajaia in the second row. Milan Vuković had a slow getaway and braked into the first turn side by side with René Kircher. However, Milan Vuković slid through the corner and off the track but somehow managed to keep the lead in front of René Kircher.
Maťo Homola moved into third place, defending his position from Milenko Vukovic, who managed to overtake him in the second lap, just as yellow flags were waved due to technical issues with Radim Adámek’s Audi. The Czech driver had to stop on the front straight, and the safety car was deployed.
The positions behind the safety car were: Milan Vukovic, Kircher, Milenko Vukovic, Homola, Ghermandi, Steibel, and sixth Kajaia.
Soon the race restarted, and Kircher immediately pushed Vuković in the fight for the lead. But the Méganes have one of the highest top speeds, which is crucial at high-speed circuits like Red Bull Ring, and soon Kircher had to be aware of Milan Vukovic behind his back. Right behind them were Homola, closely followed by Ghermandi. These five drivers were separated by two seconds. With a gap behind them, Steibel and Kajaia were followed by local driver Tobias Poschik, Adam Kout and his teammate Carlo Czepiel.
Czepiel overtook Kout and began to attack Poschik. He was successful a couple of laps later in the technical part of the track. Kout wasn’t able to keep the pace, and it seemed he had trouble with his Hyundai, as he was dropping down through the field.
It was evident that Kircher’s Honda Civic was better at braking into turn one, but the top speed of Vuković’s Mégane meant that even with a close slipstream, Kircher wasn’t able to attack the race leader.
At the end of the race, Milan Vuković controlled the lead with a safe gap of more than two seconds from Kircher. Milenko Vuković finished third, so the positions after the checkered flag were the same as on the starting grid. Homola finished fourth with his Hyundai, followed by Giacomo Ghermandi as the best Audi driver in fifth place. Sebastian Steibel with another Audi finished sixth, while Davit Kajaija dropped to seventh place. Homola’s teammate Carlo Czepiel crossed the line in eighth place, and Phillipp Dietrich with Petr Čížek scored the last points for ninth and tenth place.
In the Junior class, the results were Milan Vuković, René Kircher, and Czepiel. The winner of the Trophy class was Tobias Poschik, followed by Adam Rzepecki and Sebastian Kolakowski.
Milan Vuković also drew the number nine after the podium ceremony. That means the first nine drivers will start in reversed positions for Sunday’s race. So Dietrich and Czepiel will start from the first row.