Jens Reno Møller has praised the work of his small privateer team after he converted the reverse-grid pole position to a podium in the second TCR International Series race at the Hungaroring.
After a qualifying smash on Saturday, Møller had been at risk of not being able to start race two from pole position, which he inherited when the Opel of Mat’o Homola was later excluded.
That late change elevated the Dane into the prime position for the race, and his team immediately stepped up a gear, having come close to giving up and going home.
The damage was done when Møller locked up going into Turn 1 in the second part of qualifying, pitching his Honda into the barriers and extensively damaging the front-end.
An all-night repair job by his small team allowed him to take the start, and Møller led the race for the first ten laps before succumbing to the charge of local racer Attila Tassi.
“Twenty-four hours ago we were looking at a severely damaged car and almost packing to go home… now we are on the podium,” said a delighted Møller. “It has been a fantastic comeback, so I am obviously very happy.
“We just told ourselves that we could not let go the opportunity of starting from the pole in race two and we decided to have a try on fixing the car.
“We are a small privateer team, with five guys that worked until 5 am to repair everything and did it wonderfully.”
Møller admitted that he gave away the lead after an error on his part, but with his tyres wearing out he was powerless to also prevent Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Pepe Oriola following through two laps later.
“I made a great start and tried to build a gap, I think I did quite a good job. Tassi could only pass a few laps from the end, when I did a small mistake at Turn 12.
“By then my tyres were dead, and eventually also Oriola passed, but third is a great result, given that our target is the European trophy finale in Adria…”
The result moves Møller up to 19th overall in the drivers’ championship standings after his third points finish of the season.