Twice on the P13 after WTCR African race of Morocco in Marrakech
Mato Homola, started the qualifying session determined to attack better positions than yesterday, but even after all the hard work done by the team to fix the car during the night, it was not enough for more than P16 on the start of both races.
“My mechanics had to work hard during the night after the impacts yesterday, and I want to really thank them for the job. The car handles better than yesterday thanks to the new setup,” said Mato after the qualifying. But there is still a gap of more than a second to the top. “Brakes don’t work as I would like to and I have managed to “lock” the brakes several times. This happened in the chicane as well and I had to use the handbrake to avoid frontal impact,” he adds.
Luckily, there was no big damage and Mato was able to continue in the session, but with no further improvement. He was in the top 10 for a while, but several minutes to go he was overtaken by few riders and dropped to P16. Tha starting field is really tight and Mato missed P9 just by 0.122 s.
Thanks to penalization of Frédéric Vervish Mat started the race 2 from the P15. It was a huge drama again with lots of contacts, but young Slovak managed to avoid the biggest and went few places up. He even reached almost to the first 10, when he was fighting for a P11, but John Fillipi succeeded to take his position and moved Mato to P13. He sums up the race 2: “We are facing several issues and I am not 100% happy with the car. It is really hard to manage the brakes, I even had cramps in my left leg. I really had to push. I’m also fighting in the middle of the corners, it is not as it should be.”
Last race of the weekend meant P16 on the grid. It is obviously not possible to have a race in Morocco without a safety car and we saw it twice in the race 3. Fighting for the P12 Tom Coronel went in front of Mato and Nathanael Berthon tried as well, but he did not leave enough room in the right-hander for Homola and hit the barriers after the contact. This was the second safety cause car during the race. The splitter of Mato’s Peugeot 308 TCR was damaged after the hit, but he managed to defend his P13 to the end of the race. “I really pushed hard and gave it my best. We don’t lose much to the top 10, but to be in the top 5, we need to work further on the car. Brake issues and a lot of understeer in most of the corners” said young Slovak driver after the last race.
Final situation report – twice on the P13 and one DNF race. Even though the Peugeot 308 TCR has the smallest engine from the field, it shows, that it can go to the top 10, but there is a need to find the proper setup. There are still 27 races to go! “We need to do more testing and try to find some “tenths”. The season is just at the beginning, chin up and let’s go!” explains Mato Homola after the weekend.
WTCR is moving to Hungary, with the second race weekend at the end of April on Hungaroring.
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
05. 8. | Argentina, Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo
30. 9. | China, Ningbo International Circuit
07. 10. | China, Wuhan International Circuit
28. 10. | Japan, Suzuka Circuit
18. 11. | Macau, Guia Circuit