Mat’o Homola was pleased to make up for Saturday’s frustrations with a podium in the second TCR Europe race at Monza on Sunday, after his team had to change the engine in his car overnight.
Homola had been in contention for a podium in the first race of the weekend, but contact with Mike Halder took him out of the race and left his Hyundai i30 N TCR with extensive front-right damage.
BRC Racing worked through the night after an engine change was also found to be required, allowing Homola to line up in his fifth-place grid position on Sunday.
From there, the Slovakian racer kept his nose clean and was running in third by lap two, although he then dropped to fourth when he saw Julien Briché coming and didn’t put up too much of a fight against the charging Peugeot driver.
Fourth became third when Homola fought past Nicolas Baert on lap five, although the Audi driver then came back and re-claimed the position, with the duo fighting hard in the race.
Ultimately Homola prevailed to take his second podium finish of the season, a result which he felt was fully merited.
“I think that was well-deserved, as I should have finished on the podium yesterday but after the clash with Mike Halder, I lost a lot of points and I was so frustrated,” said Homola.
“We had a lot of damage to the front of the car; the guys were working until 04:00 to fix it and they were back in the tent at 07:00, so I have to say a huge thanks to the team because they did a mega job all weekend.
“We were the fastest Hyundai, which was important.”
Homola admitted that he had driven a cautious race at a circuit which hadn’t been expected to be the best for the Hyundai contingent of drivers.
“I tried to stay out of trouble and to drive without any mistakes and overtook as many drivers as I could.
“Monza isn’t an easy circuit for the Hyundai because we don’t have the straight-line speed, so I tried to stay in the slipstream as much as possible and be clever.
“Julien was uncatchable and so I let him go; maybe it wasn’t a sporty thing to do but I didn’t want to waste time fighting with him.
“It was a really good move because it meant I could be closer to Baert and overtake him. I have a much better feeling than I did yesterday!”