Mat’o Homola claims victory in first TCR Europe race of the year

Mat’o Homola claims victory in first TCR Europe race of the year

Mat'o Homola
Photo: TCR Media

Mat’o Homola converted his pole position into victory in the opening TCR Europe race of the season at the Hungaroring, despite late-race pressure from Target Competition team-mate Josh Files.

Homola led the field away at the start as Files moved up to second, whilst front-row starter Andreas Bäckman lost out at the first two corners with a poor start, dropping into the pack and then making contact with WRT’s Santiago Urrutia at Turn 2.

The incident saw the Uruguayan racer retire on the spot from his maiden TCR race, whilst Bäckman dropped down to 16th place by the end of the first lap.

At the front Homola was able to open up a slight advantage over Files in the early stages of the race, with the Brit facing pressure from the Peugeot of Julien Briché in third and M Racing’s Nelson Panciatici in fourth.

In the end the Slovak driver was able to hold on for a first TCR Europe victory, despite late-race pressure from Files in the closing laps.

Panciatici scored a podium for M Racing on his and the team’s début in the series, making it a Hyundai podium lock-out at the front after getting past Briché towards the end of the race.

Frenchman Briché was nevertheless the best of the Peugeot drivers in fourth, ahead of the third Target Hyundai of Dušan Borković in fifth, the Serbian driver passing the fast-starting Peugeot of Aurélien Comte for the position at Turn 2 on lap five.

UPDATE: Briché was later excluded from the result due to his car being found to be underweight, promoting Borković to fourth and all subsequent drivers up one place. 

DG Sport’s Comte had started strongly, from 14th on the grid up to fifth on the first lap, but the Frenchman slipped back in the mid-stage of the race, also losing out to M1RA’s Dániel Nagy on lap six and Comtoyou Racing’s Gilles Magnus on lap seven.

Comte took the chequered flag in eighth behind Nagy and Magnus, whilst WestCoast Racing’s Gianni Morbidelli was ninth and Jessica Bäckman completed the top ten.

Andreas Bäckman fought back in the closing stages of the race to claim 11th, battling hard with fellow Hyundai racer Luca Filippi in the closing laps. The Swede eventually secured the position when Filippi locked up heading into Turn 2, allowing Bäckman to claim the place for good.

On his début in TCR Filippi took 12th, ahead of Teddy Clairet’s Peugeot in 13th and the Vuković Motorsport Renault of John Filippi in 14th.

Peugeot driver Jimmy Clairet claimed the final points position in 15th, just ahead of the second Renault of Wolf-Power Racing’s Alex Morgan.

Belgian racers Stéphane Lémeret and Maxime Potty picked up drive-through penalties for jump starts, dropping the former to 28th. Potty had already retired from the race with damage on his Volkswagen by the time his penalty was issued.

The second M Racing Hyundai of Natan Bihel also retired early on, picking up damage on the start-line from Potty which broke his car’s left-rear suspension.

Race two gets underway at 14:30 CEST (13:30 BST).

Revised race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 70 Mat’o HOMOLA Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 13 LAPS 1:55.062 1
2 9 Josh FILES Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 0.444 1:55.204 4
3 12 Nelson PANCIATICI M Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 1.394 1:54.764 3
4 62 Dušan BORKOVIĆ Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 6.319 1:55.536 9
5 99 Dániel NAGY M1RA Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 7.951 1:55.590 8
6 16 Gilles MAGNUS Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 13 8.756 1:55.519 5
7 7 Aurélien COMTE DG Sport Compétition Peugeot 308 TCR 13 10.466 1:55.605 14
8 45 Gianni MORBIDELLI WestCoast Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 13 13.380 1:55.525 16
9 26 Jessica BÄCKMAN Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 14.255 1:55.477 7
10 19 Andreas BÄCKMAN Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 17.875 1:55.883 2
11 30 Luca FILIPPI BRC Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 19.614 1:55.939 18
12 111 Teddy CLAIRET Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308 TCR 13 20.691 1:55.787 15
13 27 John FILIPPI Vuković Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR 13 25.634 1:56.806 12
14 112 Jimmy CLAIRET Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308 TCR 13 26.176 1:56.738 17
15 5 Alex MORGAN Wolf-Power Racing Renault Mégane RS TCR 13 26.630 1:56.593 23
16 17 Martin RYBA Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 13 28.812 1:56.634 20
17 3 Davit KAJAIA PCR Sport with Georgia CUPRA TCR 13 31.009 1:56.813 22
18 8 Luca ENGSTLER M1RA Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 31.410 1:56.507 37
19 44 Lilou WADOUX JSB Compétition Peugeot 308 TCR 13 31.525 1:57.083 27
20 331 Milovan VESNIĆ ASK Vesnić CUPRA TCR 13 32.756 1:57.147 24
21 324 Jáchym GALÁŠ GT2 Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 13 36.835 1:56.870 30
22 46 Olli KANGAS WestCoast Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 13 38.002 1:56.634 21
23 96 Abdulla Ali AL-KHELAIFI QMMF Racing by PCR Sport CUPRA TCR 13 39.523 1:56.376 26
24 10 Viktor DAVIDOVSKY PSS Racing Team Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 13 40.040 1:56.537 25
25 377 Jakub WYSZOMIRSKY ASK Vesnić Honda Civic Type R FK2 TCR 13 41.317 1:57.310 29
26 81 Stéphane VENTAJA Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308 TCR 13 41.360 1:56.939 28
27 2 Stéphane LEMERET Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR 13 44.445 1:56.058 19
28 376 Petr ČíŽEK Fullinrace Academy CUPRA TCR 13 1:00.444 1:57.798 32
29 322 Carol WITTKE Fullinrace Academy CUPRA TCR 13 1:16.950 1:58.978 33
30 307 Maciej ŁASKIEWICZ RTM Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 13 1:18.924 1:58.508 35
31 374 Žarko KNEGO Auto Klub Dubrovnik Racing CUPRA TCR 11 + 2 LAPS 1:59.853 36
DQ 24 Julien BRICHÉ JSB Compétition Peugeot 308 TCR 13 5.225 1:54.945 6
R 332 Rudi PEŠOVIĆ GM Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 7 DNF 1:58.079 34
R 21 Marie BAUS-COPPENS JSB Compétition CUPRA TCR 7 DNF 1:57.777 31
R 88 Maxime POTTY Team WRT Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 1 DNF N/A 13
R 25 Natan BIHEL M Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 1 DNF N/A 11
R 55 Santiago URRUTIA Team WRT Audi RS3 LMS TCR 0 DNF N/A 10