Despite the troubles with the car, Petr Fulín defended his lead in the Octavia Cup series

Full speed ahead, despite the smoke
- 31. 8. 2008, Most -

Before setting out for the penultimate racing event of the Octavia Cup racing series, the VEKRA-ČSMS Racing Team had set their objectives. That is, they were determined to defend the lead in the standings of individual drivers, and, moreover, they intended to speed up, as a whole team. 'We knew that the performance of our rivals would improve, and so we paid maximum attention to our preparation,' Petr Fulín summed up. Also, the team had expanded to include a new driver, Milan Martínek, father of Tadeáš. Milan Martínek probably could go on just watching his son from the pits and resolved to keep an eye on him right away on the track.

The Friday practice proved that the team's rivals had prepared very well, as expected. Petr Fulín managed to keep pace with them, yet he was not satisfied. Laura Hájková moved up considerably, while Dan Skalický was struggling with the car set-up. That is, his car, with new tyres, did not hold the track well. Strangely enough, its behaviour was much better when worn-down tyres were fitted. Tiki Ivoševič kept improving his lap times, approaching his personal best. He beamed with happiness. Tadeáš was not satisfied with the brake adjustment, and, moreover, he had to make up for his absence from the previous racing event.

In the Saturday free practice, Laura further improved her lap time to finish in the eighth place. Tiki came tenth, with Dan in the thirteenth. Tadeáš, at that moment, was not able to speed up, on account of the brakes in particular. Petr was fourth. However, it was evident that some component of his car was not functioning properly.

The first driver to enter the qualifying was Petr, who, in his best lap, encountered a minor trouble with the brakes. This put him to the fourth spot of the starting grid, on the dirty side of the track. Laura claimed the tenth place, and Tiki was very much satisfied with the eleventh spot. However, Dan only came fifteenth. Tadeáš was last but one, followed by his father, who is just getting accustomed to the Octavia race car.

In the Sunday warm-up, Petr managed to improve his lap time at last, having come up to the expectations. It looked like his car was running perfectly. Laura and Tiki were doing very well, but Dan still was not able to get the maximum performance from his car. Tadeáš finally speeded up, after the problem with the brakes had been solved. Smiling faces could be seen again.

The result of Race 1, unfortunately, was determined by the collision that occurred within the first laps. That is, Petr overcame Bohuslav, by outbraking him before a slow-down curve. Then, a contact occurred, sending Petr's car ahead, and Petr could not avoid a collision with Ivan Vršínský. Consequently, the alignment of the front left wheel of Petr's car was damaged, and his hopes for this race were dashed. It was evident that Petr was struggling hard, but he only claimed the fifth place. 'In simple terms, this is the best possible placing. The car, after the collision, was difficult to control, and the mudguard rubbed the rubber off the tyre, down to the cord fabric. I am glad that I managed to finish the race,' Petr explained afterwards. Laura came tenth, after fierce battles in the middle of the field. 'Everybody is driving in a pretty tough manner. There was always someone trying to block my way. It was very difficult to avoid collisions,' Laura revealed after the race. Tadeáš improved his performance, but the fifteenth place was the maximum he was able to reach. Tiki was running eighth or ninth, until the moment when he made a mistake that dropped him down the order. So, he came seventeenth in the end, ahead of Milan Martínek. 'I am a bit disappointed, because I finally hit the pace. On the other hand, I am satisfied with my speed, I can draw level with the drivers running around the tenth place. I am excited about this despite the fact that I have not achieved a result that would reflect it,' Tiki commented on the course of the race.

A lot of work was necessary to prepare the cars for Race 2. That is, the vehicles that had been running in the middle of the field in Race 1 resembled the cars of the Dakar Rally. In a word, each race is very closely fought, and collisions between cars running around the tenth place occur frequently. Petr's car, too, required major repair after the collision. Unfortunately, it was not possible to adjust it in a perfect, optimum manner. Another minor drawback resulted from the fact that Petr had to use the tyres from the qualifying.

In Race 2, Peter made a better start than in Race 1, when he had allowed his rivals to get away, and everything suggested a tough contest. This came true, and I think that Petr really enjoyed the subsequent battle. In the last third of the race, he had to defend his position against Lisowski, whose car was in a considerably better state. However, Petr, in a fully competent manner, managed to resist the attacks, and finished in the fourth place, just short of the podium. It is a pity that the Polish driver caught up with Petr so early. If he had not, Petr would have been able to attack Dostál, who was running third. Laura, after numerous battles, finished in eleventh place. Dan finally hit the pace and, after starting at the end of the grid, came twelfth. 'Definitely, I am not satisfied with my performance,' he observed laconically. Tiki and Tadeáš had to retire from the race after an unfortunate collision at the Matador Arch. And, Milan Martínek, having maintained a steady driving style throughout the race, came seventeenth. 'Our results do not count among the best. Definitely, we could have done better. However, this was a great experience for me. As a driver, I really enjoyed it. And, the battles with Ivan Vršínský and Lisowski, I really got a thrill out of them,' Petr said after the race. His face reflected not only the tiredness, but also the great adventure.

'I would like to express my great thanks to the entire team for the excellent work and the maximum efforts they had to exert in order to maintain the cars in a road-worthy state after the increased number of collisions on the track. Tiki and Dan were a bit dogged by bad luck. Laura was driving in an excellent, steady manner, and Tadeáš managed to speed up for the races considerably. It is unnecessary to add that we want to achieve more at the racing event in Brno,' Petr Fulín, the team's manager, summed up the weekend.

And, the conclusion? Petr Fulín still leads the Championship. His margin, however, is considerably lower. Nevertheless, we are very well positioned for the Brno racing event, and we look forward to further unique experiences.

Česká pojišťovna Škoda Octavia Cup, Most, 30 - 31 August 2008 Česká pojišťovna Škoda Octavia Cup, Most, 30 - 31 August 2008 Česká pojišťovna Škoda Octavia Cup, Most, 30 - 31 August 2008 Česká pojišťovna Škoda Octavia Cup, Most, 30 - 31 August 2008 Česká pojišťovna Škoda Octavia Cup, Most, 30 - 31 August 2008 Česká pojišťovna Škoda Octavia Cup, Most, 30 - 31 August 2008 Česká pojišťovna Škoda Octavia Cup, Most, 30 - 31 August 2008 Česká pojišťovna Škoda Octavia Cup, Most, 30 - 31 August 2008



Next Races