In 2023, Václav Janík made the switch from touring car racing to becoming a driver of the KTM GTX sports car. He traded his front-wheel drive for a rear-wheel drive and achieved the title in endurance races, while also claiming the winner’s trophy in two sprint races. In addition to his driving duties, Janík also led his own team, Janík Motorsport, which competed in both the ESET Cup and TCR Eastern Europe.
In 2022, you competed in TCR Eastern Europe with a Hyundai i30 N TCR, and this year, you switched to KTM GTX and competed in both sprints and endurance races. How did you change your race preparation?
The preparation is different because it involves different techniques and race lengths. When it became clear that I would be racing with KTM this year, it didn’t matter to me whether it was sprints or endurance. In the end, I regularly competed in endurance races and managed to win the title. With KTM, we were still learning and exploring various car setups. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the whole year.
You started racing in hill climbs, where the drive lasts only a few minutes. Last year, you competed in TCR Eastern Europe with races lasting 25 minutes. This year, you raced in endurance events. It seems like you’re setting higher demands for yourself…
I already have some experience with endurance races from the past when we competed with the LMP3 prototype, and I know that you have to distribute your energy throughout the entire hour-long race. Of course, I had concerns at the beginning about whether I would be able to handle it. None of us are getting any younger. But I have to say that my physical condition and preparation turned out well. I was more worried about it.
And what was more demanding for you? The shorter and more intense racing in TCR or the longer drives in KTM?
Definitely TCR for me. There, you have to race at maximum intensity from start to finish. Because the field is much more evenly matched, you can’t afford to make the slightest mistake. It is also demanding on the mentality.
You converted three endurance race starts into three victories. Which moment from this season stands out in your memory?
There were many memorable moments. From the car fire to the recommended start at the Red Bull Ring due to technical difficulties. If I had more opportunities to compete in sprints, we would have been higher in the final standings. However, achieving first place in endurance racing is the most memorable moment of this year for me.
In addition to the ESET Cup title, your team also won the driver and team championship in TCR Eastern Europe. I assume you are extremely satisfied with this season.
If we had set such goals before the season, we definitely wouldn’t have achieved them… I preferred to keep quiet, and now I can say that we set it as a goal (laughter, note by the editor). But joking aside, this year has indeed been successful. We won in TCR, and I also had success with KTM. So, I am extremely satisfied.