Maťo Homola wins at Red Bull Ring in an intense battle

Maťo Homola from the Hyundai Janík Motorsport team won the opening race at Red Bull Ring after an action-packed 25 minutes on the track, as he fought with his teammate Adam Kout, Attila Bucsi from M1RA Motorsport, and René Kircher from Mertel Motorsport throughout first half of the race.

Bucsi had a great start, but Ghermandi was even better at the green lights, attacking Bucsi towards the third turn. Homola was close behind, with René Kircher in fourth, Ivars Vallers in a great fifth place, and Kout in sixth.

Ghermandi tried hard to take the lead, keeping pressure on the Hungarian leader. However, Ghermandi made a small mistake, and Homola made a move on the start-finish line. Ghermandi closed the door in the first turn, and Homola made contact with him. Ghermandi dropped positions, while Homola moved up to second. No further action was taken by the race stewards regarding the incident.

The order was Bucsi, Homola, Kout, and Kircher, who was defending his position from Ghermandi. From the fourth lap, Homola began to put Bucsi under pressure, preparing to attack the leader. At the same time, Kout was close behind, so the leading trio put on a great show for the spectators. Their constant fighting allowed René Kircher to close the gap, making it a four-way battle for the win.

A three-wide for the third turn changed the order, with Homola taking the lead from Adam Kout and Attila Bucsi. Towards the end, the race calmed down a bit. Homola held the lead, with Kout less than a second behind. With a two-second gap, Bucsi was defending his third place from Kircher and succeeded at the finish. Kircher crossed the line in fourth, with Ghermandi fifth. Davit Kajaia finished sixth, and Žarko Knego, Ivars Vallers, Jiří Zbožínek, and Vít Smejkal rounded out the top ten.

Michelle Jandová makes mark in formula 4 debut

Michelle Jandová experienced her first race weekend in Formula 4 at Balaton Park with the SAPE Motorsport team. This young lady from the Czech Republic is a member of the F4 CEZ Academy, which facilitated her transition from karting to the intensity of Formula 4 racing.

Michelle began the weekend in Hungary with enthusiasm. Speaking about her initial experience, she noted, „Well, certainly compared to the simulator, which I used a lot, this track is completely different.“ The first training session presented a particularly tough set of conditions. „Certainly, the track was very dusty. After the first training, people were spinning off the track, as it was really slippery. But as more sessions came, the grip improved significantly.”

Michelle qualified 13th, but she knew there was room for improvement: “For me, the qualification could definitely have been better, but I took my best time so far and it was the first time I was on new tires.“

The anticipation of the first race brought a mix of nerves and excitement. Michelle described her pre-race nervousness vividly, „I’m very nervous, but I know exactly what to do. The plan is definitely the simplest: go forward, get another position, take what we can, improve and fight,” said Michelle before Race 1, which was also her most successful. She finished tenth, behind her teammate from SAPE Motorsport, Marek Mičík. She not only scored her first points but was also the best among the other two young ladies on the grid, Kornelia Olkucka and Michalina Sabaj.

Michelle did not finish the second race after running off in the opening lap, and in the third race of the weekend, she encountered technical difficulties just before the finish. However, her impression of F4 CEZ was overwhelmingly positive. With her sights set on the rest of the season, Michelle is optimistic about her journey in Formula 4. „The rest of the season is still in its infancy, but I definitely want to continue in F4. I really like the concept of these races; it’s professional,“ she explained.

Max Karhan enters the new season with best results so far

Max Karhan has kicked off the F4 CEZ Championship season with a strong performance at the Balaton Park circuit, securing an impressive fourth place in the second race and finishing as the fifth-ranked driver in the standings.

„My biggest expectation was to have clean and beautiful fights on the track, and that was certainly fulfilled. I really enjoyed all three races,” said Karhan, who is racing for the Jenzer Motorsport team, with whom he debuted in the last three events of the previous F4 CEZ season.

Karhan identified Miroslav Mikeš as his toughest opponent throughout the races. „Racing against Míra Mikeš was a challenge in every session, and winning the battles on the track was the most satisfying part for me,“ Karhan continued.

Discussing the overall race progression and the safety car periods, Karhan expressed satisfaction with his performance. „I managed to keep up with the faster drivers and even made some great overtakes. Maintaining tire temperature behind the safety car really helped during the restarts,“ Karhan added.

Karhan was one of the five drivers from the blue and black Jenzer Motorsport team. The Swiss team entered Tatuus Formula 4 cars for Ethan Ischer, Oscar Wurz, Shim Zhang, and Andrija Kostić, ending the weekend with Karhan as the third highest driver in the standings behind Wurz and Zhang. Although Ischer won two races, he cannot score points as last year’s champion in this F4 CEZ season.

Fantastic result for TCR debutant Martin Kadlečík

Martin Kadlečík seized a remarkable opportunity to participate in the TCR Eastern Europe series during the opening weekend of the season at Balaton Park. He teamed up with Aditis Racing and took the wheel of the Audi RS3 LMS TCR for the first time in Hungary, securing an impressive second-place finish.

Last year’s Clio Cup Trophy champion, Kadlečík, faced a significant challenge in his career. He arrived at Balaton Park without any prior testing in the Audi, experiencing his first drive in the car during the practice session. Despite this, he enjoyed every second of it.

„The TCR car is really on another level. I’m enjoying every kilometer and gradually getting used to it, so for me, this weekend is like a test session since I hadn’t driven this car before. But with every lap, I’m improving,“ Kadlečík explained after the qualifying, in which he set seventh fastest lap. However, his qualifying time wasn’t truly reflective of his speed.

„The qualification didn’t go as planned, and a red flag also appeared, so I no longer had a chance to set a better lap. In the race 1, I made a mistake at the start and stalled the engine. I had to restart the engine and fell behind the entire field. It’s hard to recover from that, but I enjoyed the chase,“ Kadlečík described his first race in TCR, where he finished sixth.

„Balaton Park is a rather narrow track, so it’s important to have good exits, especially getting ready for the larger braking zones, like the first turn where overtaking is possible. There are several racing lines in that first turn. Then, essentially, there’s a long straight at the back, where overtaking is also possible.“

Then came the second race. Kadlečík started from fifth place and swiftly made his way through the field in the first turn, slicing through like a knife. He advanced to second place by the second turn and maintained that position until the race finish.

„I managed to go inside in turn one, and then space opened for me in turn two, allowing me to move into second position. After that, it was basically about conserving tires. I tried to push for first place for a while, but Attila was fast, and I decided to focus on managing my tires.“

„Securing second place was a complete surprise. I wouldn’t have believed it if someone had told me before the weekend that I would finish second. I’m happy that I managed to adapt so quickly, and I’m looking forward to more starts.“

Attila Bucsi wins race on home soil

Hungarian driver Attila Bucsi from M1RA Motorsport worked his way to the lead in the first lap and then maintained it until the finish line, securing his first victory in this season. Second place went to TCR Eastern Europe debutant Martin Kadlečík from Aditis Racing.

Thanks to the draw placing the top ten in reverse order, pole position was taken by Vít Smejkal, who had finished tenth in the first race. Lining up alongside him was Ivars Vallers in an Audi. Directly behind them were Fraňo Dubreta and Attila Bucsi.

Smejkal had a slow start, allowing Vallers to temporarily take the lead, but only for the opening two corners before Bucsi reclaimed first place and began to create a gap from the others.

Debutant Martin Kadlečík had a great start, moving into second place before the end of the first lap. Vallers dropped down the order, and third place was taken by Ghermandi, followed by Kircher, yesterday’s winner Homola, and Vallers, who was defending his position from Petr Čížek, Adam Kout, and Davit Kajaia. There was a thrilling fight among them, with cars going three-wide into a corner.

Bucsi maintained a steady pace, holding a three-second lead over Kadlečík, who matched the race pace and kept a two-second gap from Ghermandi. Ghermandi, pressured by Maťo Homola and René Kircher, defended vigorously. Homola found a gap to overtake in the first corner with five minutes to go and successfully passed him.

Attila led from start to finish, winning his second race in four starts in TCR Eastern Europe. Second place went to TCR Eastern Europe debutant Martin Kadlečík, who showed great promise in his Audi TCR car. Third place went to yesterday’s winner, Maťo Homola, with Ghermandi finishing fourth, however he received six seconds penalty for track limits, so the revised order was Adam Kout fourth, René Kircher fifth, Ghermandi sixth, Petr Čížek seventh, Davit Kajaia eighth, Žarko Knego ninth, and Fraňo Dubreta rounding out the top ten with one point.

Maťo Homola wins opening race after Attila Bucsi’s penalty

The intense battle for the win between young Attila Bucsi from the M1RA Motorsport team and Maťo Homola from Hyundai Janík Motorsport was decided by the race steward. Although Bucsi crossed the finish line first, he was handed a ten-second time penalty for a jump start.

Adam Kout began the race from pole position alongside Attila Bucsi, placing Hyundai in the entirety of the first row, with reigning champion Maťo Homola and Giacomo Ghermandi in the second row.

Kout had a slow start, allowing Bucsi to take the lead while blocking Homola, who was forced onto the grass temporarily. Nevertheless, Homola maintained his second position, with Ghermandi in third and Mertel Motorsport Hondas in the subsequent positions, pressured by Kout.

Kout managed to overtake Kajaia and was gearing up to attack Kircher, whom he passed in the second lap. Bucsi led the race, but Homola closely followed him, their lap times only a few thousandths of a second apart. Ghermandi was in third place, Kout in fourth, and Kircher and Kajaia fifth and sixth, respectively. Petr Čížek was seventh in his new Cupra, Žarko Knego eighth, debutant Martin Kadlečík ninth with an Audi, and Fraňo Dubreta tenth with a Cupra.

Mid-race, Kout was the fastest man on the track, catching up to Ghermandi, who is notoriously difficult to overtake. However, Kout’s attempts were interrupted by a safety car deployment due to Jiří Zbožínek being stranded in the gravel trap.

The restart offered a new opportunity for drivers to improve their positions. Nevertheless, an accident occurred in the first corner when Knego had braking issues, failed to make the turn, and collided with Davit Kajaia. A red flag was immediately displayed.

After the race resumed behind the pace car, Bucsi retained the lead with Homola in second and Ghermandi third, under pressure from Kout and Kircher. Ghermandi made a minor mistake and ran wide across the gravel, allowing Kout and Kircher to pass him.

Following the checkered flag, Bucsi was penalized ten seconds for a jump start, dropping him to seventh place. Homola was declared the winner, with Kout in second and Kircher in third. Giacomo Ghermandi finished fourth, and the top five was rounded out by Petr Čížek with a Cupra. TCR Eastern Europe debutant Martin Kadlečík, driving an Audi, finished sixth and was also named the best junior of the race. The first points in the championship were scored by three drivers in eighth, ninth, and tenth places – Fraňo Dubreta, Ivars Vallers, and Vít Smejkal, who will start from the pole-position in the second race thansk to the draw by winner Homola.

Adam Kout secures pole-position in red-flagged qualifying session

Czech driver Adam Kout, driving a Hyundai Elantra, won the first qualifying session of the 2024 season. With three minutes remaining, a red flag halted the session because of the car in the safety zone, and it was not resumed. As a result, Kout, from the Hyundai Janík Motorsport team, maintained the fastest time, edging out local driver Attila Bucsi, who drove a Hyundai i30 for M1RA Motorsport.

The second row for today’s start will be occupied by reigning champion Maťo Homola, who will start alongside Giacomo Ghermandi in a Honda Civic. Two other Hondas, driven by René Kircher and Davit Kajaia from Mertel Motorsport, will start from the third row.

Last year’s Clio Cup champion, Martin Kadlečík, made his debut behind the wheel of an Audi from Aditis Racing, setting the seventh fastest time. Starting behind him will be Petr Čížek. The top 10 is rounded out by Žarko Knego and Vít Smejkal.

TCR Balaton Park Qualifying

Max Karhan confirms full season commitment with Jenzer Motorsport in F4 CEZ

Max Karhan announced that he will continue his journey with Jenzer Motorsport for the entire 2024 F4 CEZ season. After competing in the last three races of the previous season with the team, Max has rejoined Jenzer Motorsport, signaling a strengthening partnership and shared ambitions for the upcoming season.

Max Karhan’s return to Jenzer Motorsport marks a significant step in his racing career, as he aims to build on his experiences and successes from the last year. The 2024 F4 CEZ calendar promises an exciting challenge, which Max is eager to tackle with his proven dedication and evolving skills.

„Thanks to my team, family, all sponsors, and the people who support me, I have managed to secure a spot for the entire 2024 F4 CEZ calendar with Jenzer Motorsport. It was with them that I first experienced racing in Formula 4 on the big circuits. The functionality and operation of the team left me impressed and completely satisfied, making it my biggest goal to continue this journey with the same team.

Over the winter, I collaborated in creating a new F4 Academy where I had the opportunity to coach drivers both on simulators and during real F4 testing at the Most circuit, where I served as a test driver. My winter preparation included not only simulator testing and physical training but also a visit to the headquarters of Jenzer Motorsport. There, I familiarized myself further with the team, discussed and arranged the upcoming season.

Additionally, I had the chance to try out their simulator and compare it to what we have at Lukamotorsport. The entire environment, mechanics, and other team members at Jenzer Motorsport operate very professionally. Lastly, I would like to say that I would be delighted if you could come and watch one of the F4 CEZ events.

The biggest supporters who make it possible for me to race this season again include Lukáš Karhan, Pavel Sovička, Josef Křenek and of course Andreas Jenzer and Ester Jenzer. Thank you very much.”

Clio Cup Champion Martin Kadlečík prepares for TCR Debut

Martin Kadlečík is making an important move in his career, as he has stepped up from the Clio Cup to the much faster second generation of Audi TCR RS3 car in the TCR Eastern Europe championship. He will join the Czech team, Aditis Racing, in the opening round of the season at Balaton Park.

Martin Kadlečík’s path from autocross to TCR was really fast. After one season in the Twingo Cup, he moved to the Clio Cup, where he dominated the Clio Cup Trophy category, winning all the races last season. Now, in his third season of circuit racing, he is moving to TCR. He also successfully represented the Czech Republic in the FIA Motorsport Games in 2022, where he battled for a win in the e-sports category.

The original plan for this season was to remain in the Clio Cup and defend the title with his Clio IV car. But in recent days, an opportunity arose thanks to the support of ESET Race Star and Mr. Josef Křenek.

“The preparation for the season went smoothly, and we intended to continue for another year with the Renault Clio Cup IV. However, Mr. Křenek approached us at the beginning of April with a very attractive offer to try the TCR car with the Aditis Racing team at the first race in Balaton Park. I am very grateful to Mr. Křenek for this offer and appreciate it greatly. We managed to secure the necessary funds for the weekend in Balaton, and I can’t wait to make my debut with the Aditis team, which is very experienced and will definitely help in the development of my driving career,” says Martin Kadlečík.

“Within the Race Star program, we have always had talented drivers on our team who scored points and won in the championship,” says team owner Radim Adámek. “Martin is no exception, and his victory in the Clio Cup proves it. I believe that his transition from the Clio to the second-generation Audi will go smoothly, and that he will feel comfortable in our Aditis Racing team. The start at Balaton will certainly be a challenge for Martin, as everything will be new: the car, the track, the competition, and also the team collaboration, which we are all looking forward to.”

Martin Kadlečík is a fast learner, but the challenge at Balaton Park will be significant. He will drive the Audi for the first time during the race weekend, so with no testing before the season, the debut will be more about learning than competing for the best results.

“I have no expectations and it will be more about getting used to the car and gradually speeding up. Moreover, Balaton Park is new to me, as it is for most drivers, so it will be a great challenge for me in combination with the fast and experienced drivers in the TCR category,” added Kadlečík.

The F4 CEZ Academy is successful, a new generation of male and female racers are making their presence known

The F4 CEZ Academy, dedicated to scouting and training the upcoming generation of male and female racers for the 2025 F4 CEZ season, has successfully completed its inaugural edition. The top-rated newcomer in a series of intensive preparatory training sessions was seventeen-year-old Martin Knápek.

Rallycross racer Martin Knápek participated in the F4 CEZ Academy alongside with other young drivers. They underwent a demanding program that combined physical training, media appearances, testing and and races on simulators, theory including a racing circuit school exam, and finally driving a real Formula 4 car from SAPE Motorsport team on the Most circuit.

Based on the assessment across all disciplines, Knápek emerged as the overall winner with a score of 1.4. Marek Mičík finished second (1.8) and Michelle Jandová third (2.0). Their outstanding performances highlighted level of their talent. Other successful academy graduates included Kristýna Kalistová, František Němec, Eric Boels, and Marc Erweth (2.2). Other participants like Natálie Jakuševová, Jan Dvořák, Matyáš Sovička, and Eliška Pytlounová only completed part of the academy for various reasons but still have the chance to finish it successfully during the year.

Martin Knápek has now the opportunity to participate in the F4 CEZ championship under favourable conditions. Among other achievements, he was also the fastest driver in the final race on simulators, earning a chance to test a Renault Twingo during a free practice session before the Twingo Cup race weekend.

„I really liked the whole academy concept from the start, and as soon as I learned about it, I wanted to be part of it. Every Saturday, we met and improved everything that a racing driver should manage. I think we got along well with the other drivers and formed a good team. Initially, the most challenging part for me was the physical preparation with coach Jindřiška. Although I was used to exercising from rallycross, the g-forces in formula are much greater, and the training was adjusted accordingly. However, I improved over time. Another activity was driving on simulators, which, I must admit, surprised me with how much they could help with real driving. Max Karhan helped us a lot with the simulators, progressively speeding us up. Last but not least, we also worked on social networks and practiced interviews on camera, which we then reviewed with Tomáš Vacín, who gave us tips on how to appear as natural as possible in front of the camera. The media preparation was one of my favourite parts of the academy, but none of it compares to the test with the F4, which I will never forget. Driving a formula car is incomparable to anything I’ve experienced before. I’m already looking forward to the new opportunities that winning the F4 academy opens up for me,“ evaluated Martin Knápek his participation in the academy.

„First of all, I would like to thank all the participants. They were excellent, and I could imagine working with each of them in a racing team,“ commented academy founder Josef Křenek. „They worked very actively and well in the team, always sticking together. Of course, a big thank you also goes to the parents and all the partners, especially Lukamotorsport, SAPE Motorsport, Autodrom Most and the Autoclub of the Czech Republic. There can only be one winner, but all of them have the door open at our academy, and it would be an honor to cooperate with any of the graduates in the future,“ added Křenek.

„After Max Karhan got into the Jenzer Motorsport Formula 4 team and participated in three races of the 2023 season, there was a surge of questions,“ described Lukáš Karhan the academy’s inception. „A lot of people from the world of karting became interested in the F4 CEZ series, which was an impulse for me to fully open the doors and show everything behind Max’s debut in formula 4. Thanks to a team of enthusiastic people led by Mr. Křenek, the founder of F4 CEZ, the idea of the academy was born. No one expected it to generate such a huge response. The fact that many enthusiastic people came together to form a great team that works in unison pleasantly surprised me, and I’m happy about it. I would like to thank everyone for making this idea a reality, and I look forward to opening the doors to more talents in the next edition,“ added Lukáš Karhan from Lukamotorsport.

The F4 CEZ Academy doesn’t end here. Collaboration with the current team of graduates will continue, and they have open doors to participate in race weekends (F4 CEZ, ESET CUP, Twingo Cup, Clio Cup and others) as assistants or racers.

The academy will be open all year round, and other interested parties can apply at any time. Through its unique program, they can gain invaluable skills and experiences that may aid in their career development.