Justas Jonušis will turn 16 only in February, and yet he had the opportunity to experience the TCR Europe Trophy from the inside as the driver of the leading car: a brand new 2018 Honda Civic Type-R.
Justas is the son of Darius Jonušis, who is based in Lithuania and is the enthusiastic promoter of the TCR Baltic Trophy. Despite his young age, Justas has already claimed some promising results in karting.
“I started when I was six and won twice the Lithuanian championship before joining the Danilo Rossi Racing in 2015. With them I managed to finish 23rd in the 2016 European Championship and in the mid pack in the World Championship. This year I have started testing racing cars, including Formula 4; I have also taken part in a couple of endurance races – a 1000km and a 4 hours – and in both I finished third in my class.”
Unlike a lot of other young lions who are coming from karting, Justas is not dreaming of Formula One: “I think TCR is the most realistic option for me. It is a very interesting category as the cars are close to each other and many of the drivers are very young. I think it’s a great platform for someone like me.”
And yet, TCR still has to become popular in the Baltic region. “We only have one permanent racetrack there, but some races are very popular like the 1000km of Palanga that is held on closed highways. This year we only had two TCR cars, but hopefully there will be more from next year.”
Will you plan to be part of the field? “I hope so, but I’m still 15 and I will only be able to race when I’m 16. The sooner, the better, because my dream is of racing in the TCR International series within the next couple of years!”