Regularly featuring up front since the beginning of the TCR International Series 2017, Mato Homola and the DG Sport Compétition Opel Astra took full advantage of the Austrian round and claimed a first podium … and looking for more to come. For his débuts in the Theux based team, Grégoire Demoustier was on hand and even though luck was not on his side, he racked up some experience allowing him to set his sights on a good score during the following meetings.
Right from the qualifying sessions Mato Homola went out all guns blazing and claimed his second pole of the season, following the one clinched in Bahrain:” I have always achieved good results on this circuit with its long fast curves that I really enjoy”, the young Slovak commented climbing out of his car. “During the free practice sessions we systematically improved the Opel Astra’s set-up, and in qualifying it worked really well. I’m obviously delighted with the outcome of this qualifying but it’s especially in the race that I want to score well seeing I need those points to reposition myself in the Championship.”
So said, so done. In the initial confrontation DG Sport Compétition’s spearhead took a good start but had to give way in the first braking zone to Dusan Borkovic whose car was showing the same ‘health’ at the Salzburgring as in Bahrain… While keeping the leader under pressure, Mato Homola needed to keep a close eye on his mirrors and pull out all the stops to keep the reigning champion, Stefano Comini, at bay. At the end of the round which finished under a red flag due to an off from Jean-Karl Vernay, the Opel Astra n°70 crossed the line in 2^nd position, with the driver being called on to the podium for the first time this season.
Setting off from 5^th place on the grid for the second race, Mato Homola scored a point with a 10^th place having lost two places in a rather ‘on the limit’ braking during the last lap through the chicane.
As for Grégoire Demoustier, he became acquainted with the rather turbulent world of the TCR International Series and slowly got his bearings at the wheel of the Opel Astra. 14^th in race 1, the French driver clocked up the 4^th best lap time out of the twenty-one competitors, proving that he felt at ease with his new mount; in the second round, he was forced to retire as the result of a flat tyre whilst battling it out for a place in the top-10.
For the DG Sport Compétition clan this fifth meeting of the season proved they were on the right track: victory is just around the corner! Christian Jupsin, the man in charge of the Theux based structure, is fully convinced: “This splendid weekend allows us to further progress. The results show the level at which Mato is now evolving, and is now amongst the series top players. On the other hand, Grégoire put in a good performance whilst discovering the Opel and the team. All in all, the outcome is very positive and the ambitions of all – drivers, mechanics and engineers – are multiplied by ten prior to the upcoming meeting at the Hungaroring, next weekend.”