Tough weekend for Mato Homola on the home soil

What started as a nice and positive weekend in the free practice sessions, continued as a nightmare on the second day, finished with 12th place on day 3.

Let’s say more. Mato Homola had a nice pace throughout the free practice sessions, finishing 8th and 7th respectively. “We had a chance to test a qualifying set up in the first session, and the second one? I just had good fun on the wet Slovakian track,” said Mato after day 1.

With the qualifying session starting before lunch, Mato was quite optimistic – he had a good pace at the beginning and set a fast time at the beginning. While coming to the pits for the fresh set of tires, the team has discovered an oil leak from the transmission. He went out once more, as it looked like a minor fault, but didn’t improve his lap time. Despite that, he continued to the Q2. The oil leak has become more significant and Jaro Krajci, his engineer, didn’t allow him to go out on the track again – the big risk of fire, and possible spill on the track.

“The qualifying was a nightmare. Not only the oil leak, but I also started to feel problems with my power steering. We have to analyze the problem and see if it will work for the first race,” said Mato just after the session.

The team successfully repaired the oil leak from the transmission and everything seemed fine before the race. When arriving on the grid for the pre-start ceremony, there was another big oil leak in the engine bay and problems with steering appeared once more. “I couldn’t allow him to start to the race,” said Jaro Krajci and he added: “The oil leak was a minor fault – the big problem was the steering. It was possibly dangerous not only to Mato but to the other drivers as well.”

Therefore, Mato did not start to the first race and left the track just minutes before the start. The team has worked the whole evening to discover the mistake and hopefully, despite not having the right spare parts, they succeeded with fixing the car and Mato was able to start Race 2 of the weekend, held today.

Mato had a lightning start, jumping immediately from P12 to P8. He tried his best to fight for more, got even to P7, but the BoP played a big role. “I tried and fought hard. I was able to gain some advantage in the technical parts but on the fast bits? That was a different game. Sometimes I felt like I was parking. I was losing about 0,8 s every lap in the first sector. And you cannot do anything about that,” said Mato just after the race.

“I have to say, I had a lot of nice fights, but it was more for fun – I was no match for the “fast” cars here. I hope, that something will change on the BoP. The car is “crippled” for almost two years now and the competition is speeding up. I30 has really tough life now,” says Mato after the hard weekend.

TCR is moving to France now, the second racing weekend of the season will happen at the end of May, on the Paul Ricard circuit.

TCR Europe 2021:
07-09.05.2021 – Slovakia Ring (Slovakia)
28-30.05.2021 – Paul Ricard (France)
18-20.06.2021 – Zandvoort (Netherlands)
29-31.07.2021 – Spa – Francorchamps (Belgium)
03-05.09.2021 – Nürburgring (Germany)
24-26.09.2021 – Monza (Italy)
08-10.10.2021 – Barcelona (Spain)

TCR Europe 2021 pictures:

Homola sro
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