I may dominate, but I don’t get bored in the car, says champion Martin Kadlečík

I may dominate, but I don’t get bored in the car, says champion Martin Kadlečík

Czech racer Martin Kadlečík entered the Clio Cup last season with a fourth-generation car. As a newcomer, he performed incredibly and won all the races in the Clio IV classification. Now he looks back on his unique season and reveals his plans for this year.

When you started this season, did you ever think you could win all the races?
I definitely didn’t expect such a season. The plan was to learn with the new car and maybe aim for the top positions in the following season. Nevertheless, I highly appreciate such success.

Considering how dominant you were throughout the year, did you start aiming to win all the remaining races in the second half?
I tried not to think about it. It’s always better to focus on each race separately and deliver the best performance. Of course, towards the end of the season, it crossed my mind, but I didn’t set it as a goal.

Was it difficult for you to maintain concentration when you started and already had a comfortable lead after two laps?
It wasn’t always easy to maintain concentration until the end of the race, but I tried to gain experience, experiment with new things, and save the tires. After all, even in a Clio, you drive fast, so there’s definitely no boredom in the car.

What strategy do you have when you dominate a race like that? Do you simply go for the victory, or do you experiment with the car, try to save tires, and so on?
As I mentioned before, if possible, I save the tires, monitor the gap, and try different racing lines while comparing lap times. After all, testing is very limited, so every lap counts towards my racing development.

Which race from the past season stands out in your memory?
The most interesting one for me was definitely the weekend at Hungaroring. Challenging conditions throughout the weekend, combined with a lack of experience, really tested my skills. I immensely enjoyed the battles during the first race, and the wet conditions, which I hadn’t experienced in a Clio before, were very demanding. I’m glad I managed to keep the car on track at a good pace.

Usually, you raced together with your dad on weekends. How important is it for you that your dad takes care of the car?
It wouldn’t be possible without him, of course. I’m very grateful that he takes care not only of the car but also of everything around it. It has been 15 years since I started racing, and my dad has always been the cornerstone of our “team,” taking care of things related to the races, including the car. I would like to thank him many times for that.

What are your plans for the next season? Will we see you in the fifth generation?
We don’t plan to switch to the fifth generation for the next season. At the moment, it looks like things will stay the same, and I will continue to race with the fourth-generation Clio. We’ll see what the next season offers. I’ll try to build on the successes of the previous season, and I can’t wait for the first race at the unknown Balaton Park track for me.