Slovakian driver Mato Homola will drive the third Chevrolet Cruze of Campos Racing in next weekend’s Slovakian round of the World Touring Car Championship, with the 20-year-old graduating from the European Touring Car Cup.
Homola has raced in the ETCC for the past four seasons, where he has proven himself to be a race winner at the wheel of a BMW in 2012 to 2014, before he switched to a SEAT León Racer for 2015.
“This is a big chance for me and one I am determined to make the most of,” said Homola, who was runner-up in last year’s ETCC TC2T category. “It’s not very often that you get the opportunity to race in a world championship event but when it’s in your home country it makes it even more special. Of course I want to achieve a strong result but I also need to be realistic.
“I need to learn a more powerful and technically advanced car against a very strong field of international drivers. But while I don’t have experience of TC1 competition, at least I can count on the support of the home fans at a track I know very well and like very much.”
Campos Racing Team Manager Ruben Espin is pleased to be able to sign a driver for their third car – the first time that the team will run three TC1 cars at the same event.
“We have been working with Mato to achieve his goal since last summer when he tested one of our TC1 cars at Barcelona and confirmed his potential,” said Espin. “We are very pleased that Mato is joining our young driver programme at Campos Racing, where, as a private team, our strategy is to develop drivers with great potential to become factory drivers in the future. Hugo Valente and John Filippi are already part of this programme and are making great progress.
“Mato will now get the same opportunity to show everybody he is ready for the WTCC and, moreover, score points for Campos Racing in the Yokohama Teams’ Trophy.”
François Ribeiro, WTCC General Manager, was keen to emphasise the role of the ETCC in bringing on young drivers to the World Championship.
“The ETCC, which we also promote along with the WTCC, is a good platform to prepare the WTCC drivers of tomorrow and we hope that will be the case for Mato Homola, who continues to demonstrate great promise,” said Ribeiro. “It obviously won’t be easy for him but chances like this don’t come along very often and we are confident he will be able to make the most of this opportunity, gain some experience and demonstrate to potential sponsors in Slovakia that he is worthy of continued support.
“The automotive industry is by far the predominant sector of the economy in Slovakia so I hope Mato will become a flagship of his country and it’s great there will be a home driver for the fans to cheer on.”