Just two of the ESET MMSR races were enough for Richard Chlad Jr. to get used to Audi R8 LMS ultra, and to start winning. At least one victory at each racing weekend and the highest number of points in the finals. Next year, Chlad Jr. wants to retain the title, and at the same time compete in championships such as Blancpain Endurance or GT Open.
After the slower start of the season, you began winning every weekend since the Most race. What was the breaking point?
That we've already got used to both the technological and driving technique after the four-year break. Four years off the race circuit is a long time, so I didn't have enough practice at the start of the season and couldn't get the maximum out of R8.
You got back to the Czech circuit scene by celebrating the title in ESET MMSR. What does this success mean to you?
It means to me that after a long pause out of the racing car I'm still able to keep up with the top racers and show everyone that I have the ability to participate in higher competitions, such as ADAC GT or Blancpain Sprint or Endurance.
In Brno, you moved from Audi to BMW, how challenging is this for the driver to move between such top-notch cars in one weekend?
I can't guess how difficult it can be for other drivers. Even though the two cars have engines on the opposite side, and therefore a completely different weight distribution and boost in performance due to the turbo, BMW has a technical lead over Audi and I've been very quick to get used to it. Already after five rounds I was able to give a performance sufficient to get the pole-position.
Which race was the most exciting experience for you?
Definitely the Saturday Slovakia Ring, because it was on a wet track and under transitory conditions. The second reason is, of course, the victory in Sprint and Endurance, where my father handed the car over to me in the second half of the starting field, and I started the chase up to the best place on the winners' podium. And all this on the track that should have played more into the hands of our BMW than to the Audi.
Which of the races will be kept as a bad memory?
The Friday and Saturday Most race, when our car was switching into the emergency mode due to problems with the fuel pump and we retired from the pole position after the start. Despite the fact that the Most circuit compared to Slovakia Ring exactly fitted the specification of our vehicle.
Which circuit suited you most this season?
Slovakia Ring, because we got the right setting to the qualification with the engineers, and I managed to finish a nearly perfect circuit there and get to the pole-position, while we weren't considered to be the favorites with Audi.
What plans do you have for the next season?
Next season plans include the ESET MMSR again, and probably some races in higher class, such as the Blancpain Endurance Series or GT Open, where I would like to test my skills against the best GT3 racers.