Third Round of ESET V4 Cup with Dramatic Changeable Weather
Dramatically changeable weather was experienced by the participants to the two-day third stage of ESET V4 Cup in Grobnik, Croatia. Saturday races were held in beautiful summer weather with the temperature of thirty degrees Centigrade, so typical for this South European tourist destination. However, on Sunday the situation performed a complete turnover, with grey sky overcast by heavy clouds soaked with water, every now and then poured onto the racing circuit.
And so while the Saturday part of the races was staged on dry road under bright sunny sky, for the Sunday races the pilots could not do without deep tyre design. On the other hand, the wet road permitted talented pilots to show their skills. While on the dry road the GT3 sprint race was dominated by Marcin Jedlinski in his Audi R8 LMS, which Richard Chlad with his older version of Audi R8 simply could not compete with, on Sunday the situation reversed and Chlad staged a bravura performance crowned by his second victory in the season and reinforcement of the leading rank in the interim overall ranking in front of Jedlinski. Another excellent performance was staged by Libor Milota, who received two cups in the two races, one for the second and the other for the third rank.
Many thrilling moments were prepared for the audience by the ESET TCR races. Jáchym Galáš piloted his VW Golf with machine-like accuracy through the circuit laps and his only threat on his way to the triumph was the interim ranking leader Milovan Vesnic and his Seat. Unfortunately, Vesnic was deprived of all chances by a tyre defect. However, in the second race he did not leave anything to a lucky chance, performed an excellent start and held the lead firmly, while his rivals slipped on the wet road and sometimes even ended out of the bitumen track. The race had to be ended prematurely indeed, for the final laps were marked by a downpour so heavy that further continuation in the race would not have been possible.
Water on the road was welcomed by Andrea Cola in the Formula 3 race. While on Saturday the dry road worked better for the victorious Beckhäuser who found no competitor on the circuit, on Sunday the forces of the two rivals were balanced. Cola was in fact a couple of hundredths of a second quicker, won the pole-position in the time practice and produced the quickest lap time in the race. Only after start Beckhäuser´s reaction was a little quicker and advanced him up to the lead, which appeared to be decisive. Cola tried hard to replace him in the lead for the whole 25 minutes of the race, but the Czech pilot held the defensive trail firmly and did not let him overtake, thus winning the second race as well. The first race of Formula Renault was won by the interim leader of the ranking, Robert Hefler, but the wet road permitted the champion title defender Bartlomiej Mirecki to excel, to show again, like many times in the past, how he managed the wet road, and to win his first race of this season.
All pilots deserved praise for their Sunday performance under the harsh conditions, though. Michal Makeš won the Clio Cup races both on the dry and on the wet road. On Sunday he had to manage a really hard rival, Zoran Poglajen, who attacked the Czech Clio Cup leader fiercely and steadily. Their duel was so hard that in the last but one lap they got in contact and Poglajen suddenly found himself in the gravel zone. Thus event he second race was won by Michal Makeš.
Two starts and two wins was also the balance of Wolfgang Kriegl in Cruze Cup. On the other hand, the podium was very varied in the TC-3500 category, where the Saturday race was won by Gábor Kismarty-Lechner and the Sunday wet adventure turned out best for Nemanj Milovanovic.