Michal Matějovský's first FIA WTCC racing event was a success

Michal Matějovský at the first race of FIA WTCC in Brno
- 19. 6. 2008, Hradec Králové -

If we are to sum up Michal Matějovský's participation in the FIA WTCC racing event held at the Brno Masaryk Circuit last weekend, we can say that his debut in the FIA WTCC was hard, yet successful. It was on Thursday that he took the wheel of the SEAT León 2.0 TFSI 16V SUPER 2000 car for the first time. Despite the fact that he had not had any previous experience with this vehicle, he managed to improve his times gradually up to the level corresponding to the middle of the field of the drivers not directly supported by the respective carmaker.

At the opening testing session on Thursday (12 June 2008), his lap times were approximately 2:15. In Saturday's qualifying, Michal, with a time of 2:11.232, even claimed the 19th place, having closed his gap to the front runners of the category of independent drivers to several tenths of a second. The best drivers with diesel-powered SEAT cars were only two seconds ahead of him. Moreover, if we take into account the drivers with cars with a petrol engine, Michal was only 0.750 seconds behind his team mate Tom Coronel, one of the most experienced SEAT drivers directly supported by this carmaker.

In the first race on Sunday, Michal made a good flying start and gradually moved up to the 14th position. But then, Michal's car was hit by one the other drivers and Michal ended off the track (see the photographs taken by Miroslav Skalický). He did not give up and fought his way to the 22nd place. The second race was started from the grid. Michal once again made a good start. Unfortunately, he had to retire from the race after one of the first duels, due to a broken bolt of the steering linkage.

In his debut in the World Touring Car Championship series, Michal Matějovský proved that he is well capable of moving up to a top placing in the standings of the category of independent drivers. If fortune had smiled on him, he could have reached this placing right away at his debut. However, that is the way things are in motor sport. One fact is of essential importance: Michal's cooperation with the mechanics and engineers of the SUNRED-BRT team is excellent. And, the appraisal provided by Joan Orus, the head of the team, was particularly encouraging. Joan Orus highly regards Michal's ability to work with the team on the car's set-up. Owing to this skill, Michal was able to improve his results gradually in the Saturday qualifying and in the Sunday races.

'I think that Michal has the best abilities to join the WTCC drivers gradually. Now we will focus on the forthcoming racing events of the SEAT Leon Eurocup. Our objective is to win one of the races of this series, which would allow us to contest another race of this year of the FIA WTCC,' said Joan Orus at the end of the WTCC racing event held in Brno. And, Michal Matějovský added: 'I have gathered a lot of experience, with respect to both the car and the first-class drivers. I would like to express my thanks to the entire team for their fine work and to all the partners that enabled me to take part in my first race of the World Touring Car Championship.'

Sunday, Race 1: Michal Matějovský's car, after having been hit, is running off the track Sunday, Race 1: Michal Matějovský's car, after having been hit, is running off the track Sunday, Race 1: Michal Matějovský's car, after having been hit, is running off the track Sunday, Race 1: Michal Matějovský's car, after having been hit, is running off the track The SEAT company's facilities Large-format advertisement Michal Matějovský's SEAT Leon Eurocup car on display Broken bolt of the steering linkage



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