Homola and Czepiel share wins in Oschersleben opener
Janík Motorsport drivers Mat’o Homola and Carlo Czepiel claimed one win each in the TCR Eastern Europe opener at Oschersleben.
Czech touring car veteran Petr Fulín was fastest in qualifying ahead of Adam Kout, who returns after a three-year break from racing, in the Janík Motorsport Hyundai Elantra.
Fellow Janík Motorsport driver Homola lined up third on the starting grid, ahead of Davit Kajaia.
Kout got the best start as the light went out and led the field into the first corner, only to make a mistake half way through the lap, and dropped to second behind team-mate Homola.
Fulín, who got a slow getaway from from pole position, was third position ahead of the Mertel Motorsport driver Rene Kircher. Kajaia meanwhile fell to sixth, losing position to home racer Sebastian Steibel, who started from eighth.
With clean air in front, Homola pulled a gap to his followers. Fulín was slowly approaching Kout and overtook him in the “triple-left” complex of corners, running him wide in order to get into second place.
Another driver who was patiently waiting for his opportunity was Kajaia, who overtook Steibel on lap 14. The next lap saw Czepiel, the third Janik Motorsport driver, overtaking Steibel for sixth position.
Homola controlled the race and crossed the finish line first, ahead of Fulín and Kout.
Home racer Kircher finished in fourth position, while Kajaia was right behind his Mertel Motorsport team-mate in fifth position and of Carlo Czepiel rounded off the top six.
Tobias Poschik started from second position for race two and managed to take the lead into Turn 1, while Žarko Knego, who started from the reversed grid pole position, made a mistake and dropped far down the order – later retiring from the race.
Petr Čížek and Kircher got up to positions three and four at the start.
After starting ninth, winner of race one Homola got up to fifth after the first two laps.
At the front of the pack, Poschik had his rear-view mirrors full of Janík Motorsport driver Czepiel. The Polish driver got past Poschik at the beginning of lap six.
Kircher made a mistake going into the last couple of corners on lap six, and opened the door for Homola to advance into fourth place.
Kout also passed Kircher, with Homola getting third by passing Čížek on lap nine.
Fulín, who started tenth, got up to sixth by lap ten, overtaking Steibel, Kajaia and Kircher in the process.
Kout passed Čížek for fourth place on lap 12 while Homola passed Poschik for second place two laps later.
In the end, it was a 1-2 result for the Janík Motorsport drivers, with Czepiel ahead of Homola.
Poschik crossed the finishing line in third for Audi and Aditis Racing.
The third Hyundai Elantra of Janík Motorsport, driven by Kout, ended the race in fourth, ahead of Fulín and the two Mertel Motorsport Honda driver Kircher and Kajaia.
Čížek, Steibel and Giacomo Ghermandi completed the top ten.
The Janík Motorsport drivers hold the top three positions in the drivers’ championship, with Homola leading on 43 points, ahead of Czepiel on 33 points and Kout on 29 points.
The next TCR Eastern Europe race takes place at the Hungaroring on April 29-30.