Home hero Fulin felt like part of the family on WTCR return
Petr Fulín might have suffered first-corner heartache as he tried to convert his reverse-grid pole position into a famous home victory in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup, but the Czech relished his Autodrom Most weekend and the welcome he received.
Fulín was competing as a wildcard at WTCR Race of Czech Republic, driving a CUPRA Leon Competitión for his team, Full in Race Academy.
After qualifying P10 in Qualifying Q2, Fulín started at the front of the field for Race 1, only for a clutch issue to slow him down and ultimately lead to him becoming embroiled in a multi-car collision that put him out within a few hundred metres from the start.
But in true Fulín fashion, he didn’t give up and took to the grid in his repaired car for Race 2 and came through from P18 to P11.
“I would like to thank my team, whose members worked together as one for the whole weekend,” Fulín said. “This allowed us to keep up with the top competitors, even with all the handicaps stemming from the fact that we were starting [as a] wildcard, with just one car in a small, private team. Of course, we had a great deal of bad luck, especially in the first [race], and it hurt even more considering that it was a unique opportunity to race, with no chance of another run in the near future. On the other hand, we’ve been doing this for quite some time and we know that such situations are inevitable in sports and motorsport time from time.
“Even so, I would like to say a big thank you to the WTCR promoter, all the teams and all the racers. At the Most circuit, we didn’t feel like guests. We felt like a fully-fledged team that belongs to the family. It didn’t matter whether we were solving organisational or technical problems, or seeking quick help with the supply of spare parts. Literally everyone did everything they could to accommodate us in any way possible.
“I also genuinely appreciate the sporting values of the series itself. Even though I was always sceptical to the Balance of Performance and Compensation Weight system, now I have to highlight the maximum possible fairness. The negligible differences in qualifying times have shown that the whole field was fantastically level, with no regard on the make of the car. Another very pleasant surprise was the fact that even though every racer and every team tries to do their best to succeed, no one forgets to acknowledge and appreciate the success of others in a friendly way. I really felt nice in Most. Thank you all.”
Photo: Petr Fryba