Overhauled Audi in the hands of Petr Kačírek, Dan Skalický will join the team again

Overhauled Audi in the hands of Petr Kačírek, Dan Skalický will join the team again

Petr Kačírek enters his 32nd racing season this year. And he’s certainly not letting off the throttle. He is heading to circuit racing with the Audi GT3 and he will be joined Dan Skalický. He´ll also compete in rallying, look after the Duck Racing team and keeps a close eye on his son’s karting activities. He’s got a lot on his plate, as he does every year.

What are your plans for this year’s circuit season?
Well, the plans are clear, we’re continuing with the Audi, which is currently undergoing a complete overhaul, including a new engine and gearbox, the whole chassis including shock absorbers, etc. Although the car is a granny, it’s still in great shape. We are also looking forward to the changes in the race calendar, we are returning to Most and for the first time at Oschersleben, where I last raced about ten to fifteen years ago, so it’s a nice change. After all, Poznan and Grobnik don’t really suit today’s GT cars anymore…

But isn’t it time to get new equipment and change the Audi?
On the one hand we are happy with Audi, their customer department is working well, on the other hand there is currently talk that Audi will no longer build and homologate a new GT3 because of entering F1. So we’ll see what the development will be. Of course, there will probably come a time to buy new equipment, but that will be for my son, who is now almost 17, racing karts and will be moving to big cars in a year and a half. That will be the right time to get a new car, but we’ll see what it will be depending on where the circuit sport goes.

Dan Skalicky should drive for you again. How will you divide the roles?
Yes, we’re in discuss. Dan misses racing, he wasn´t able to compete for last two years because of his work commitments. Dan is a great driver and has been racing for us since about 2009. He’s won a lot of races and titles for Duck Racing, so there’s a lot to build on. We’ll split the weekend depending on the deal. He could race sprints and endurance and I could set myself up as manager. Or I’ll do one of the sprints, we’ll see, it’s under negotiation…

With the Audi you can hardly think about a battle for the championship anymore, so in which cases are you satisfied with the race weekend? In case you reach the podium? Or if everything works perfectly, the starting field is full and there is someone to fight with?
Well, this year it’s probably not going to be about winning. On the other hand, even with our car you can fight for victory, as Richard Chlad showed in the past years with the same car and as Tomáš Enge showed me when he drove in the free practice in Brno last autumn and set the same time as the drivers with the new GT3. So it’s more about the drivers than the car, but at age 55 years and in my 32nd season of racing, I’m a realist and as you rightly ask, I’m happy when the grid is full, there’s someone to fight with, everything works perfectly and when you add a podium to the mix, it’s perfect.

We’ve already mentioned the new circuits on the calendar – Most and Oschersleben. Are they a welcome change for you?
It’s great that after years there are changes and both new circuits will bring variety. We missed Most a lot, I’ve been racing there since 1992 and it was a shame that we haven’t raced there in recent years. Oschersleben is also a nice change. I did a few races there about 15 years ago in the DMV Cup with a BMW M3 GTR. I think when we get there, it will all come back to me and it will be awesome.

Apart from circuits, you are als involved in rallying. How are you satisfied with the past season and what are you planning for this year?
Yes, rallying is our second discipline and it’s a lot of fun, especially at the top level with R5 specification cars. It’s a completely different world, but sometimes the experience from one discipline comes in handy in the other and vice versa. And I enjoy jumping into a different kind of racing and with different people twice a month. Last season was more about looking after the team and the drivers who drove Škoda Fabia for us. There were a lot of changes. Some of them have achieved great results and we continue to work with them this year. I also did a few races, especially at the end of the season in the classic autumn sprints. This season has already started, we just came back from the Oman Rally where we finished together with Petra Řiháková in a great 2nd place and beat the winner of this year’s Dakar, Nasser Al Attiya. Vojta Štajf will drive our Fabia in the one-day sprint championship and we hope he will fight for the overall victory. We have also acquired a Ford Fiesta Rally3 from Honza Černý, which will be driven by the young and promising Filip Kohn in five JWRC3 events. Yes, the same Filip who last year at Rallye Příbram surprised all the competitors and if it wasn’t for a technical problem in the middle of the race, he would have won. As far as the grand championship is concerned, we are negotiating with a few other drivers. We’ll see what they want to do and I’ll do the races that remain unfilled. Because like I said, it’s a real treat to drive an R5 car.

And of course, there’s your son in the karts. How did he do last year and what are your plans for 2023?
Last year was the first year for our youngster in the top KZ2 category and the transfer from Easykart is really hard. We competed in the German and Czech championships and to be honest, I expected worse results. I was pleasantly surprised. He drove in the middle of the starting field the first year. He needs to do better this year and next year he should be well ahead if he wants to think about moving into the big world of circuits and rallies. We start this season next week in Italy, it’s the best school for karting. After that we will move to the German championship for the whole season. Meantime Petr Jr. will also race in the Czech Republic to have a comparison. Our team also includes little Pavel Petráš, who switched from motocross to karting two years ago and after some initial crashes he drove very well and settled at the front of his Easykart 60 and Mini class. This year he may well alternate between the two classes to sit in it as much as possible, as they say. We believe that if he adds a bit of tactics, he can win overall this year.
So once again, we have a never-ending story of weekly packing, loading, traveling and everything else that goes along with racing. We couldn’t do it without our great team and the people who work hard on it, so thanks for them and of course a big thanks to our partners who support us and are going into our 32th season with us.