From ESET Cup to GT Open. Libor Milota’s journey with a red and white Mercedes

From ESET Cup to GT Open. Libor Milota’s journey with a red and white Mercedes

Former ESET GT champion Libor Milota announced a new phase in his racing career during the final event of this year’s season. Starting from next year, he will be joining the ISR Racing team in the GT Open series, alternating behind the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS GT3 with Filip Salaquarda. Let’s recall Milota’s journey to the laurels of ESET GT.

What do John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Wayne Gardner, and Libor Milota have in common? They all began their racing careers on motorcycles and later transitioned to racing cars. Of course, the first three mentioned riders are world legends with numerous titles to their names, but Libor Milota has accomplished a great deal as well. He started as an amateur motorcycle racer in the Czech Endurance Cup and soon realized that speed and engines were what he wanted to pursue further. He made the transition from two wheels to four, and in 2018, he made his debut in the ESET Cup. Alongside Milan Galáš, he alternated behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in endurance races, and he immediately fell in love with it. The following year, he appeared in the championship with his own Mercedes AMG GT3 in the colors of the GT2 Motorsport team.

A series of podium finishes and a second-place in the GT3 drivers´ standings served as a great testament to Milota´s skills, who was relatively unknown to many until then. In the 2020 season, heavily affected by the era of COVID-19, he only participated in the opening event in Grobnik and won everything there – both sprints and endurance races. However, he didn’t start in the rest of the season. When he fully returned to the ESET Cup in 2022, he became the champion in the sprint category. He won a total of six races, including five consecutive victories.

However, defending his title this year became complicated due to strong competition from the ISR Racing team and driver Filip Salaquarda. The dominance of the experienced team meant that Milota mostly collected trophies for second or third places. As they met throughout the year at various circuits in Central Europe, a new joint project began to take shape between Igor Salaquarda, the owner of ISR Racing, and Libor Milota – their participation together in the GT Open series. Milota tried this championship in Hungary this year and was close to reaching the podium. That convinced him that GT Open could be another option in his career path.

It is now officially confirmed that starting from the 2024 season, we will see the Salaquarda-Milota crew in the prestigious series, and Milota hopes for a successful year. “I hope that at the end of the season, we will have a good feeling about what we were able to demonstrate there, and I believe we can achieve that. The preparation will be demanding. I have to try all the circuits on the simulator, spend a lot of time with telemetry, and there will also be testing. But I believe I will be competitive,” said Milota about his entry into GT Open.