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
|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|