DG Sport Compétition’s Mat’o Homola took victory in the second FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) race in Vila Real, with the Slovakian using the joker lap to get ahead of YMR’s Yvan Muller for victory.
Audi Sport’s Gordon Shedden lead the opening phase of the race in his RS3, but the Scot would be handed a five-second time penalty before the race had run its course for cutting the second chicane on the opening lap.
Shedden was also the first of the leading pack to take his joker lap, which dropped him behind Comtoyou Racing Audi driver Aurélien Panis, costing him time and further denting any chance of an on-the-road win.
The key move at the front came when Homola took the joker lap first on lap eight, two laps before Muller, forcing the Frenchman to try to open up a gap of more than two seconds at the head of the field.
In the end Muller was unable to open quite enough of a gap, giving Homola the lead and after one lap of pressure his first win in WTCR. The win was also remarkably Homola’s first points finish of the season.
“I knew that when Shedden entered the joker I needed to push a lot,” said Homola. “I battled with Yvan – he was really pushing me – so we were a good duo to set good lap times and after my joker I needed to again push.
“But basically, I was pushing the whole race, so nothing changed. And after Yvan took the joker I was counting the distance between us.
“Thanks to all my supporters, all my sponsors and Slovakia. I’m really proud of my team because they did a good job after Zandvoort where we had not a good result. I’m looking forward to Slovakia but first of all let’s do a good race three.”
Shedden finished third on the road, but his penalty meant the final podium position was awarded to Campos Racing’s Pepe Oriola, with the Spaniard benefitting from his joker lap when he moved ahead of Audi’s Jean-Karl Vernay on lap six.
Vernay finished just behind Oriola in fourth, ahead of BRC Racing’s Norbert Michelisz in fifth. Shedden, after his penalty was applied, was ultimately classified in sixth.
Münnich Motorsport’s Yann Ehrlacher was seventh and the leading Honda driver, and in doing so limited his loss to his uncle Muller, being now 29 points behind the Hyundai driver.
Comtoyou Racing’s Panis was one of the last drivers to take the joker, diving in on lap nine, but the Frenchman was still able to bring his Audi home in eighth, ahead of BRC Racing’s Gabriele Tarquini and race three pole-sitter Thed Björk, with the latter also posting the fastest lap of the race in his YMR Hyundai.
Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri failed to finish the race after he was knocked into the barriers by Comtoyou Racing’s Frédéric Vervisch, with the latter being handed a drive-through penalty for cutting the chicane and causing the incident.
Boutsen Ginion Racing’s Benjamin Lessennes was also given a drive-through penalty for causing a collision, having tapped Nathanaël Berthon before the chicane on the opening lap and causing the melee that caused several drivers, including Vervisch, to go straight on.
Race three takes place at 17:10 BST (18:10 CEST).
|1||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||DG Sport Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||11||22:57.517||2:03.764||3|
|2||48||Yvan MULLER||YMR||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||0.764||2:03.958||2|
|3||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Team Oscaro by Campos Racing||CUPRA TCR||11||2.025||2:03.766||7|
|4||69||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||Audi RS3 LMS||11||3.635||2:04.325||4|
|5||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||4.144||2:03.932||9|
|6||52||Gordon SHEDDEN||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||Audi RS3 LMS||11||6.335||2:03.764||1|
|7||68||Yann EHRLACHER||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||11||6.413||2:04.361||6|
|8||21||Aurélien PANIS||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||11||6.975||2:04.633||5|
|9||30||Gabriele TARQUINI||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||7.284||2:04.184||8|
|10||11||Thed BJÖRK||YMR||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||7.705||2:03.415||10|
|11||88||Fabrizio GIOVANARDI||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||11||13.105||2:04.571||15|
|12||27||John FILIPPI||Team Oscaro by Campos Racing||CUPRA TCR||11||14.666||2:04.994||11|
|13||8||Norbert NAGY||Zengő Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||11||15.376||2:05.230||16|
|14||13||Edgar FLORINDO||Veloso Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||11||25.558||2:05.746||17|
|15||9||Tom CORONEL||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||11||29.649||2:04.975||24|
|16||26||José RODRIGUES||Target Competition||Honda Civic Type R FK2 TCR||11||37.198||2:06.144||23|
|17||22||Frédéric VERVISCH||Audi Sport Team Comtoyou||Audi RS3 LMS||11||38.399||2:03.665||21|
|R||66||Zsolt Dávid SZABÓ||Zengő Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||8||DNF||2:05.636||22|
|R||63||Benjamin LESSENNES||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||3||DNF||2:06.076||12|
|R||20||Denis DUPONT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||2||DNF||2:06.014||18|
|R||7||Aurélien COMTE||DG Sport Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||1||DNF||N/A||14|
|R||23||Nathanaël BERTHON||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||0||DNF||N/A||13|
|R||86||Esteban GUERRIERI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||0||DNF||N/A||19|
|NS||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||–||DNS||N/A||20|
|NS||12||Rob HUFF||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||–||DNS||N/A||–|
|NS||25||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||–||DNS||N/A||–|
|NS||15||James THOMPSON||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||–||DNS||N/A||–|