VIDEO: TCR Eastern Europe Champion Michal Makeš - At the beginning of the season we didn't even think about the title
Incredible joy and pride for the whole team. Michal Makeš dominated the TCR Eastern Europe series at the age of twenty-one. He secured a narrow victory for himself and the Mičánek Motorsport powered by Buggyra team in the last race of the season. He beat last year's champion Tomáš Pekař by just four points.
A race weekend full of tactics, struggle with technique and mental pressure. This is what the last ESET Cup race weekend at Brno's Masaryk Circuit looked like for Michal Makeš and the Mičánek Motorsport powered by Buggyra team. Makeš finished fourth and fifth respectively in the race. "It was the maximum we could achieve with a sixty-kilogram ballast. But Michal coped with it perfectly, he managed to drive tactically and keep an eye on his rivals and he deserves the title. It's just incredible how far he's come as a driver during the season and how we've managed to improve together with the team race by race," said team manager Jiří Mičánek Jr., with whom Makeš won the Clio Cup title two years ago.
"It's an incredible pleasure. We have managed to do something that we didn't even think about at the beginning of the season, especially against Tomáš Pekař, who has incredible experience with pre-cars," says Michal Makeš. "It was unbelievable how we were moving forward, improving the car, even though it is a much older model than the current leons. And I was improving too, I was able to squeeze more out of the car," he says.
However, he ended up fighting for the title until the very end of the last race. When he finished, he knew he could celebrate, albeit very narrowly. Brno's title maths played a role in both of the weekend's races in the TCR Eastern Europe series. While Makeš had a comfortable 25-point lead over Pekar before the weekend, the championship rules state that each driver's two worst results will be deducted. This clause was very favourable for Pekar, who had two unfinished races and no points were deducted, while Makeš had to deduct 20 points from his lead.
Both rivals in the battle for the title at the Masaryk circuit this time lagged behind the more modern Cupra Leon cars of the Fullin Race Academy team. On Saturday, the race went better for Makeš, who added two more points to his five-point title difference. Although only very narrowly. "At the end the car was not working anymore. If the race had lasted one more corner longer, I wouldn't have been able to keep Tomáš behind me," shrugs the new title holder.
On Sunday, on the other hand, Pekař dominated over Makeš. And at the beginning of the race, it seemed that it was Pekař who could rejoice. "We knew that the most dangerous situation was if Tomáš Pekař won. Even if I came second, the points would not be enough," explains Michal Makeš. This was the situation at the beginning of the second race.
Makeš handled it masterfully. After being overtaken by Carol Wittke, he managed to keep Bartosz Groszko behind him long enough for Wittke to have time to catch Pekar and take the lead. "If Carol had fought Bartosz, Tomas could have got away from them," Makeš explained. He kept this tactic in a situation where he was already having extreme problems with the car. "The tyres were already bad, and I was getting pulled out on the exits," he says.
Despite eventually dropping to fifth place, Makeš maintained his crucial lead over Pekař. "All I'm planning now is how we're going to celebrate. It's going to be a big one for sure," the newly crowned TCR Eastern Europe series title holder hinted with a smile.