Mat’o Homola will become the first Slovakian racing driver to compete in the FIA World Touring Car Championship at his home event at the Slovakia Ring next weekend. The 20-year-old will pilot a third Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 for the Campos Racing squad in addition to his commitments in the FIA European Touring Car Cup.
Bratislava-born Homola is a two-time runner-up in the FIA ETCC Super 2000 class (2013-2014), and this year competes in a Seat León Cup racer in the series’ Single-Makes Trophy class.
He will drive Campos’ so-far unused third Cruze TC1, which was raced last year by Serbian driver Dušan Borković.
While the move to the WTCC will mark a major step in the youngster’s career, he will have some advantage in debuting at his home circuit, where he is a two-time winner in the feeder ETCC field.
“This is a big chance for me and one I am determined to make the most of,” Homola said.
“It’s not very often that you get the opportunity to race in a world championship event but when it’s in your home country it makes it even more special. Of course I want to achieve a strong result but I also need to be realistic. I need to learn a more powerful and technically advanced car against a very strong field of international drivers. But while I don’t have experience of TC1 competition, at least I can count on the support of the home fans at a track I know very well and like very much.”
His promotion to the WTCC is an opportunity that is not lost on the series’ General Manager, Francois Ribeiro.
“The ETCC, which we also promote along with the WTCC, is a good platform to prepare the WTCC drivers of tomorrow and we hope that will be the case for Mat’o Homola, who continues to demonstrate great promise,” he added.
“It obviously won’t be easy for him but chances like this don’t come along very often and we are confident he will be able to make the most of this opportunity, gain some experience and demonstrate to potential sponsors in Slovakia that he is worthy of continued support.”
The Race of Slovakia will take place at the Automotodróm Slovakia Ring on the weekend of 20-21 June.
Image via Idolbin