Mato Homola managed to finish in TOP10 in Race 1 in Japan
First race on the Suzuka Circuit has seen Mato Homola starting from the 9th position, despite the qualifying result, which was enough for the P10 only. Mato has stepped forward thanks to severals penalties given to some of the drivers for the mistakes in the qualifying session. After a great start, Mato immediately overtook Erlacher (Honda), who started from the P7. Mato was driving behind Tarquini (Hyundai) only in the first lap and attacked on the finish straight coming to the second lap and succeeded. The race was twice neutralized with the safety car and Mato, despite trying to push on Vernay (Audi) ahead, finished on the P7.
“I am really thankful for the result, it feels great to be in the TOP10 again. Two races scheduled for tomorrow, the only sad thing is the unlucky second qualifying session, where I managed to set only 15th fastest time,” ads Mato after day 2 in Suzuka.
Race 2 and Race 3 were scheduled for Sunday, with the really early beginning for European followers. Just after the start of the Race 2, Mato felt huge understeer from the car, so did his teammate. Several laps into the race and Mato was on the P14, fighting with Monteiro (Honda) closely behind. Monteiro tried to push so hard, that it resulted in contact, forcing Mato to leave the track in huge slide. Big drop in the ranking and final P20 as a result. Monteiro is a big gentleman and he came to Mato just after the race, to apologize, as he had no other option.
DG Sport Competition team has made several setup changes for the third race of the weekend, but it didn’t work as planned. Mato lost 3 spots in the first lap. Mato felt an opportunity in the penultimate lap, as there were a lot of fights ahead with many contacts. Giving and receiving few “hits” and the geometry of the car was strongly damaged, with an almost destroyed left front wheel which held a pressure only thanks to the miracle.
“Today was one of the “tough” days in the office again. I felt like someone had changed my car since yesterday, it behaved completely different. I lost positions like I was parking. Despite that, it was a good lesson for me. Last 2 laps were really heartbreaking, and I was hoping to see the finish line. The whole car vibrated like a jackhammer, the steering wheel was rotated in 45 degrees compared to normal and you have to do a turn in more than 200 km/h. I can tell I was a little scared. When I saw my front wheel in the Parc Ferme, I was happy that I managed to finish the race in one piece, even on the P15,” said Mato Homola after the race.
There is only one race weekend of the FIA WTCR series ahead. The whole parade is moving to Macau for one of the toughest street circuits in the world. The race weekend starts 15.11.
FIA WTCR 2018 Calendar:
08. 4. | Morocco, Circuit Mouley El Hassan
29. 4. | Hungary, Hungaroring,
12. 5. | Germany, Nürburgring Nordschleife
21. 5. | Netherlands, Circuit Zandvoort
24. 6. | Portugal, Vila Real
14. 7. | Slovakia, Slovakia Ring
30. 9. | China, Ningbo International Circuit
07. 10. | China, Wuhan International Circuit
28. 10. | Japan, Suzuka Circuit
18. 11. | Macau, Guia Circuit