Mat’o Homola put his Hyundai i30 N on top of the times in second practice for the TCR Europe series at Monza, as championship leader Mikel Azcona was just 19th fastest.
Janík Motorsport’s Homola had risen to the top of the times in the closing seconds, but was actually briefly usurped by PSS Racing’s Franco Girolami in the final seconds after the chequered flag had flown.
Girolami had gone and posted a lap of 1 minute 58 seconds exactly, before Homola then went quicker still with a time of 1:57.863, the first lap in the 1:57s of the weekend so far, 0.137 seconds faster than his Honda rival.
“We had some problems in FP1, but the pace was quite okay,” said Homola. “In FP2 it might have looked perfect but I must admit that I had two full laps of slipstream from the Clairets in the Peugeots – really, really good slipstreams.
“They took me from the slow speeds on the straights that we have in the i30 which we struggle with. That helped us a lot on the straights, but in the technical parts the car is working well; I have good balance.
“Keeping my feet on the ground, without the tow I wouldn’t be where I am.
“The team could really do with a good result here; with the older car we are struggling a lot, especially with the straight-line speed.
“We have been looking for a perfect setup with the Hankooks that suits me and so we are a little on the back foot with the speed.”
Brutal Fish Racing’s Jack Young was third quickest, although the Northern Irishman had been fastest of all for a time for much of the second half of the half-hour session, his effort of 1:58.140 coming around the halfway mark and he was unable to better it thereafter.
Evgenii Leonov was the leading Volcano Motorsport CUPRA driver, as team-mate Azcona was just 19th, some 1.588 seconds off the pace after completing just six laps.
Jimmy Clairet was the leading Peugeot driver in fifth, ahead of the best Audi of Comtoyou Racing’s Tom Coronel in sixth.
Nicolas Baert was right behind his team-mate in seventh, with the best Hyundai Elantra being that of Sébastien Loeb Racing (SLR)’s Sami Taoufik in eighth.
The top ten was completed by SLR’s Felice Jelmini, who had been an early pace-setter, and VRC-Team’s Klim Gavrilov in his Audi.
Gustav Birch, making his second TCR Europe appearance this year, caused a full-course yellow early in the session when he went off at the first chicane, prompting a five-minute delay – as a result the Dane only completed three laps and was down in 28th.
Qualifying is scheduled to get underway at 09:00 CEST (08:00 BST).
|1||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||Janík Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||13||1:57.863||–|
|2||72||Franco GIROLAMI||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||11||1:58.000||0.137|
|3||62||Jack YOUNG||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||10||1:58.140||0.277|
|4||16||Evgenii LEONOV||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||11||1:58.419||0.556|
|5||21||Jimmy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||12||1:58.459||0.596|
|6||32||Tom CORONEL||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||11||1:58.619||0.756|
|7||8||Nicolas BAERT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||12||1:58.625||0.762|
|8||25||Sami TAOUFIK||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||13||1:58.641||0.778|
|9||44||Felice JELMINI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||9||1:58.675||0.812|
|10||14||Klim GAVRILOV||VRC-Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||12||1:58.870||1.007|
|11||20||Teddy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||11||1:58.871||1.008|
|12||26||Isidro CALLEJAS||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||12||1:59.107||1.244|
|13||250||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||13||1:59.129||1.266|
|14||162||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||12||1:59.169||1.306|
|15||97||Bartosz GROSZEK||Horňak-Aditis Racing Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||12||1:59.261||1.398|
|16||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||11||1:59.320||1.457|
|17||101||Sergio LÓPEZ||RC2 Junior Team||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||13||1:59.350||1.487|
|18||77||Sylvain PUSSIER||Team Clairet Sport||CUPRA TCR||13||1:59.372||1.509|
|19||96||Mikel AZCONA||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||6||1:59.451||1.588|
|20||10||Niels LANGEVELD||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||11||1:59.654||1.791|
|21||5||Rubén FERNÁNDEZ||RC2 Junior Team||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||11||1:59.657||1.794|
|22||110||Viktor DAVIDOVSKI||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||7||1:59.852||1.989|
|23||24||Jáchym GALÁŠ||Janík Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||12||1:59.954||2.091|
|24||66||Gilles COLOMBANI||Team Clairet Sport||CUPRA TCR||13||2:00.777||2.914|
|25||81||Damiano REDUZZI||Trico WRT||Hyundai i30 N TCR||12||2:01.076||3.213|
|26||53||Lukas STOLARCZYK||BTC Maszyny||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||13||2:01.296||3.433|
|27||38||Petr ČÍŽEK||Horňak-Aditis Racing Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||12||2:01.457||3.594|
|28||11||Gustav BIRCH||Brian Madsen Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||3||2:04.542||6.679|