‘We know where we can improve’ says Jiří Mičánek jr. after the best ever season for the Mičánek Motorsport powered by Buggyra team
In 2021, the Mičánek Motorsport powered by Buggyra team had almost a perfect season. From fighting for the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe championship title to dominating the TCR Eastern Europe season. A very busy season meant that Jiří Mičánek jr. had a very busy Autumn, with six weeks of constant racing. “This year was extremely difficult, but on the other hand, it’s a great motivation for the upcoming year,” says the team manager ahead of 2022.
If anybody had told you, just a year ago when you were summarizing the 2020 season, that you will be a manager of the 2nd best Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe team, a championship-winning team in the TCR Eastern Europe and as a driver you will be winning trophies in hill-climbing event, what would you think?
I would be falsely modest and say that there’s a lot of work ahead of us. But I’d partly believe that all that is possible. All these results are just showing the maximum professionalism of this team. Sure, many things could have gone wrong, but even if they day, we would know that we did our best.
But some things could have gone even better.
Of course. Sometimes, we were very unlucky, especially in the Super Trofeo. Some unfair penalties, unlucky Safety Cars – maybe Bronislav Formánek and Josef Záruba would not win the Pro-AM championship title in the end, but it could have been interesting until the very end.
Let’s start with the beginning of the season…
That did not look very good. First lockdown and uncertainty. Then, Kurt Wagner got ill, and it was clear that it will impact him for several months at least. And then Libor Dvořáček got injured. Suddenly, we found ourselves in a situation where we had three Lamborghinis ready but only one crew. But every cloud has a silver lining. We found some room to do the hill-climbing, even though that was logistically very challenging sometimes.
But it took just the first few races, and it was looking better again?
For Bornislav and Josef, everything changed with their first win at Paul Ricard. What a euphory, especially as it was a hard-fought victory. Just a shame that we got that win only after a protest against one of our competitors. Without that, we would have won the race right at the track, with Bronislav going over the line as the winner.
Let’s go back to what actually happened at Paul Ricard…
Well, Karol Basz overtook Bronislav under yellow flags and he also went outside of track limits. So, we protested that at the race director and we succeeded.
And at the same time, Michal Makeš began to dominate the TCR Eastern Europe with his Cupra.
Hats off to the whole ‘TCR divisoin’ team. From Michal, who drove perfectly, to mechanics to my brother Tomáš, who helped me a lot. It was difficult to attend all races due to clashes with Super Trofeo, but he was a great leader. Maybe it’s good to remind everyone, that we and Michal went into the season intending to replicate his success from the final race of the 2020 season when he took his first podium. And he managed to win right at the beginning of the season. And it was no surprise, he was just that good. And he confirmed that in later races.
In the end, it was a championship title.
It was a perfect end of the season. A home environment at Brno, a direct battle between Michal and Tomáš Pekař. All the strategy work, uncertainty. Michal was brilliant – on the track and mentally as well. He didn’t have it easy at all, as cars with front-wheel drive were at a disadvantage, but he did it perfectly. He kept his head cool, and he definitely deserves this championship title.
If anything really gave you a headache this season, it was the weather…
So true! At Zandvoort, we were literally flooded by massive rain, that did so much damage to half of Germany that weekend. The consequences were felt even two months later at Nürburgring, which also got hit and also served as a temporary hospital. And then the ‘Brno Dragon’ race. First, there was no racing due to a heavy fog – at the beginning of August! And then, I took the risk, started on slicks and I went off the track. Luckily, with no damage.
Let’s stay with the hill-climbing. What did bring you to them?
At the beginning of my career, I did a few races under my dad’s leadership with a single-seater. And now, when we had a spare car available, I thought it would be nice to get back to it and do some good results. Especially to honour my dad, who won many titles in hill-climbing, and he also organised the Brno Dragon for several years.
And that plan went well…
I think that three victories and three second-place finishes in six races are a pretty solid result, considering it is not my primary discipline.
Are you planning to take part in some hill-climbing races next season?
Let’s wait and see what our schedule is going to look like. We still fully focus on Lamborghini Super Trofeo, we are professionals with two crews – Bronislav and Josef, and Libor Dvořáček and hopefully healed Kurt Wagner. But if there is an opportunity, I’m going to do some races.
Now back to Super Trofeo, what ambitions do you think that Bronislav Formánek and Josef Záruba can have?
First, it must be said that I’m really glad that we’ll continue in the same line-up. The guys work well together, and it was clear from the results. I’m careful with our ambitions, but in general, we want to continue in our plans from the last year. We need to be consistent, avoid mistakes, collisions and be a bit lucky. We’ve improved in all of that this year, but we’re not perfect. If we were, we would be champions. However, our ambition is to fight for the championship title again.
Libor Dvořáček also did very well this year. Three podiums, a sixth place in the standings, even though he raced for half of the season. Can he go even higher?
Hats off to Libor. After his recovery, and without any big training, he quickly returned to racing and had to do twice as much in the car. That is more than 100 minutes of racing every weekend. It’s a huge challenge, both mentally and physically. And he did it perfectly well. Those two second places and one third-place finish in the LC category, they say it all. And the fact that he even handled Misano, where there was a Super Trofeo followed by the worldwide season finale, that was a huge performance. If Kurt returns next year, and Libor will keep working on himself, I believe that they could fight for the championship title in their LC category.
At the beginning of last season, you bought one more Lamborghini Huracán. Is the team planning to do any changes for this upcoming season?
We’re facing a very important step – to upgrade all cars to a new EVO 2 specification. From all we know, there should be an improvement in aerodynamics and brakes. Let’s wait and see what our competition is going to do, but until now, the current Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO has been the fastest CUP racing car in the world, and that should continue into the next season – it will be just even faster now.
And what about Michal Makeš? Anything new for him?
I don’t want to go into details right now, but yes. We definitely want to take another step. Not just from a technical perspective, but also to help Michal to improve and become a better driver. He can go even further, and I believe that over some time – and hopefully in the future together – the TCR Eastern Europe series will become too small for us, and we’ll be looking for something next. However, there’s no need to rush, he’s still young and has enough time to gain experience and good results.
In Spring, during the testing, you said that you were thinking about putting him into a Lamborghini. How has that progressed?
I believe that if he keeps working hard, the Super Trofeo could be a path for him. Together with the know-how that we have from this championship, he could become very good on this level. But that’s still far away, right now we’re going to focus on the TCR Eastern Europe, Michael’s development and ideally on defending the championship crown.
Are we going to see you on racing circuits again?
It’s all still open. Like I said – the most important thing for us is to support both of our Lamborghini Super Trofeo crews and establish the best possible environment for Michal Makeš in the TCR Eastern Europe. Everything else follows after that. If the calendar allows, we’ll definitely show up somewhere. At races or exhibitions, just like this year. We had some good fun racing at Supermoto in Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou, where I definitely want to come back.