BRC Racing’s Mat’o Homola was frustrated to miss out on a podium chance in the opening TCR Europe race at Monza, after being taken out by the Honda of Mike Halder.
Homola had worked his way up to third in a frenetic first race in Italy, with the Slovakian’s progress owing much to drivers ahead of him on the road being involved in incidents.
After Julien Briché and Dan Lloyd scampered off ahead of him, the Hyundai driver benefitted when contact between Pepe Oriola and Teddy Clairet resulted in the former’s retirement and the latter dropping down into the pack.
But on lap eight Homola was under significant pressure from Halder, and the German made contact with the Slovakian at the first chicane.
Halder then made further contact with Homola at the second chicane after initially locking up, resulting in the retirement of both drivers from the race.
“I’m so frustrated, because I knew that it would be so tough for Hyundais to be on the podium and have really good points,” explained Homola to TouringCars.Net.
“I was doing really well; I was avoiding all the contact, and with the 40 kg [of compensation weight] I was struggling with the pace a bit, even though it was quite good pace compared to Halder, although I was slower.
“I could have been third or fourth kind of easily, to have really good points which I need for the championship, but he apparently did a mistake, it was not fair, and I’m really, really frustrated for that.”
Homola expressed surprise that Halder did not simply cut the chicane, rather than risk having the accident which gave both drivers their first non-scores of the season.
“Halder was coming and coming on the straights, so I saw that he is faster and then at the first chicane on lap eight he touched me.
“I was really in front for Turn 2, the left-hander, and he touched me. It was not fair, but still I managed it somehow.
“Then we were coming side-by-side to the second chicane. He was on the left-side, so he had the corner.
“I didn’t want to fight with him there, but he somehow braked later, I think he locked up. He lost the first corner.
“Normally, what I would do and what everybody would do, is to cut the second corner, but he somehow went directly into my way.
“I was in front already and he hit me really hard on the right-hand side. So, it was really not fair and a silly move from him.”