I have learned from every challenging event, says Matěj Pavlíček

I have learned from every challenging event, says Matěj Pavlíček

Matěj Pavlíček switched to the faster Lamborghini Super Trofeo and fought for the title throughout the season. His biggest rival was teammate Jáchym Galáš from the Mičánek Motorsport team. Although Pavlíček ultimately finished second, this year significantly advanced his racing career.

Matěj, was the transition from KTM to the faster Lamborghini Super Trofeo difficult for you?
The transition was relatively smooth. Honestly, I expected it to be more challenging. However, I had to get used to higher speeds because our Lamborghini is almost on par with GT3 cars, and in terms of top speed, we are even better than GT3. The driving style is also somewhat different from KTM because the Lamborghini is heavier, which requires a different approach to cornering. Nevertheless, racing with the Lamborghini felt natural to me.

You and Jáchym dominated this year’s GTC category. However, what goals did you have at the beginning of the year, and how did they evolve?
At the beginning of the season, I had a clear goal – to dominate the GTC class. I managed to achieve that on some tracks. Jáchym and I fought for the title throughout the year, and it came down to the last race. I knew it wouldn’t be easy against him because it was my first race in Brno, while Jáchym already had some experience there. However, I fought until the very end. I think the whole year pushed me forward as a driver, and I experienced many beautiful moments.

Did your relationship with Jáchym change when it became clear that the title would be decided between the two of you?
Our relationship with Jáchym didn’t change throughout the year. We are professionals, and we have known each other from karting. I think we are quite good friends, but of course, when we put on our helmets and get into the car, we become rivals because we have access to the same equipment and compete in the same team. However, on the track, we left each other enough space, although there were occasional moments. But nothing changed between us.

Occasionally, Dennis Waszek also got involved in your battle. How did you approach the competition with Dennis and Jáchym?
The battles with both Jáchym and Dennis were not easy. Dennis had an older version of the Lamborghini, while we were driving the current one, which generates slightly more downforce. So Dennis had the advantage on the straights. For example, it was challenging to overtake him on the straight at Hungaroring. The battles with Jáchym were more evenly matched, and I had to adapt and search for tenths of a second and any gaps to overtake, which Jáchym didn’t give me much. They are both demanding competitors, and I had a very interesting season with them on the track.

Sometimes this year, you had incidents in the first lap, and then you had to overtake one car after another. What do you enjoy more? Driving alone at the front or making your way through the field?
I have to admit that I had a few moments this year that I’m not proud of, but I learned from each of those incidents. I would definitely prefer if such situations didn’t occur because they usually happened on tracks where I was dominating, and I lost a lot of points there. On the other hand, I enjoyed overtaking the entire field. It gave me a lot, and I learned how to use the strengths of my car and its limits. I enjoy both positions, whether it’s driving at the front, focusing only on myself, or overtaking one car after another. Of course, driving at the front all the time would be the best.

Which race stands out in your memory?
I would say Hungaroring and the battle with Jáchym. I was faster per lap, but on that track, there aren’t many opportunities for overtaking, especially when the cars are evenly matched. And the battle with Dennis in Most was also very interesting. Jáchym had to retire due to a malfunction, and a couple of laps before the finish, the brake fluid was leaking from my car. In the last corners, it was on the edge, and I was contemplating whether to park the car. In the end, I continued and fought with Dennis on a drying track with wet tires. That victory truly stands out in my memory.

So, how would you summarize your debut season with the Mičánek Motorsport team? Did it meet your expectations?
The season was absolutely fantastic. It exceeded all my expectations. I was satisfied with the car, I got along well with the team, and the Lamborghini suits me the most out of all the cars. Overall, the season pushed me forward a lot, and I’m looking forward to further collaboration, which will be decided in the coming weeks.