Practice pays off for Milan Vuković after surprise success

Milan Vuković won the first TCR Eastern Europe race of the weekend at the Hungaroring, scoring a surprise win in his Renault Megane.

Vuković took the spoils in a red-flagged race ahead of the two Mertel Motorsport Honda Civics, driven by Rene Kircher and Davit Kajaia.

“We knew we would be quick here, but to be win the first race feels amazing,” Vuković admitted. “Right when we started practicing this weekend, we had a really good set-up and I could focus on improving my driving.

“We used every single minute in the practice sessions and that payed off in this performance. The first corner was a bit chaotic, I don’t know exactly what happened, but too many cars were going into turn one.”

Kircher had held the early lead in the race after the front-running Hyundais hit trouble, even though he was powerless to keep Vuković at bay.

“I had a great start, and I think Hyundais didn’t manage it too well, so it was a very nice feeling, and a crazy first corner,” he said. “It was very hard to battle with the Megane, since it is very fast on the straights, and I struggled with the tyres in the beginning.

“He had the better performance in the beginning of the race, so he could overtake me. We had a good pace today, and I think that with a good start tomorrow, I am sure that we can do a very good race.”

Kajaia meanwhile was pleased to avoid the drama early on to grab a podium.

“That’s how it is in motorsport, the first corner is always very tricky, and I managed to get out of it well,” he said. “I was having problems with oversteer, but managed to drive a great race.

“The level of competition of this championship is very high, especially when you look at what the Hyundais are doing. Mertel Motorsport is a very professional team and I am really happy that I could repay them with this result.”

Race Two of the TCR Eastern Europe Hungaroring weekend is scheduled for tomorrow at 11:00 CET.