Mat’o Homola claimed DG Sport Compétition’s second World Touring Car Cup victory, and the first of his WTCR career, in an action-packed second race on the streets of Vila Real. The Slovakian driver held off four-time WTCC title-winner Yvan Muller for the win, while Pepe Oriola claimed back-to-back podium finishes for Campos Racing.
Gordon Shedden started from the reversed-grid pole position in the Team WRT Audi, leading Muller and Homola at the start. Muller had a run on Shedden, but the Scot defended hard and an enterprising Homola snuck past Muller’s Hyundai to claim second place.
The field – reduced to 24 cars with the withdrawal of both Sébastien Loeb Racing VW Golfs and James Thompson’s Münnich Motorsport Honda following the horrific pile-up in Saturday’s opening race – made it through the opening sequence of corners without drama, although carnage would ensue later in the lap.
The drama came at the narrow chicane at the bottom of the hill. Shedden carried too much speed and cut the chicane to avoid clouting the wall, while Homola clipped the wall exiting the chicane and knocked off a wing mirror.
The bunched midfield saw the two Comtoyou Audis of Frédéric Vervisch and Nathanaël Berthon, Benjamin Lessennes’ Boutsen Ginion Honda and the sister Honda of Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri come together. Vervisch blatantly cut the chicane to swerve around Berthon and Lessenes and sideswiped Guerrieri’s car in the process, leading to the Argentine’s retirement. Vervisch and Lessenes were both issued drive-through penalties for their troubles.
A few laps later, the Stewards ruled that Shedden would be given a five-second time penalty for cutting the chicane. The Scot served his joker lap at the end of Lap 6 in the hope of being able to stay ahead of Homola when he served his, but the strategy called backfired thanks to two rapid laps by the Slovakian who managed to get the jump on Shedden.
Muller stayed out in the hope that he could jump the pair of them and served his joker lap on Lap 10. It wasn’t enough, as he narrowly rejoined behind Homola’s Peugeot and chased the youngster over the final lap to the finish line. Shedden crossed the finish line in third, however, his time penalty demoted him to sixth behind Oriola, Jean-Karl Vernay and Norbert Michelisz.
On the back of his Race 1 victory on Saturday and by finishing ahead of former championship leader Yann Ehrlacher (who finished seventh), Muller’s points lead over his nephew extends to 30 ahead of this weekend’s third and final race which takes place at 17:10 local time (GMT +1).
|2018 FIA World Touring Car Cup Race of Portugal – Race 2 Final Classification (11 laps)|
|1.||Mat’o Homola||DG Sport Compétition||11||22:57.517||25|
|2.||Yvan Muller||MRacing – YMR||11||+ 0.764||18|
|3.||Pepe Oriola||Team OSCARO by Campos Racing||11||+ 2.025||15|
|4.||Jean-Karl Vernay||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||11||+ 3.635||12|
|5.||Norbert Michelisz||BRC Racing Team||11||+ 4.144||10|
|6.||Gordon Shedden||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||11||+ 6.335||8|
|7.||Yann Ehrlacher||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||11||+ 6.413||6|
|8.||Aurélien Panis||Comtoyou Racing||11||+ 6.975||4|
|9.||Gabriele Tarquini||BRC Racing Team||11||+ 7.284||2|
|10.||Thed Björk||MRacing – YMR||11||+ 7.705||1|
|11.||Fabrizio Giovanardi||Mulsanne SRL||11||+ 13.105|
|12.||John Filippi||Team OSCARO by Campos Racing||11||+ 14.666|
|13.||Norbert Nagy||Zengõ Motorsport||11||+ 15.376|
|14.||Edgar Florindo||Rui Edgar Macedo Florino||11||+ 25.558|
|15.||Tom Coronel||Boutsen Ginion Racing||11||+ 29.649|
|16.||José Rodrigues||Target Competition||11||+ 37.198|
|17.||Frédéric Vervisch||Audi Sport Team Comtoyou||11||+ 43.399|
|DNF.||Zsolt Dávid Szabó||Zengõ Motorsport||8||Retired|
|DNF.||Benjamin Lessennes||Boutsen Ginion Racing||3||Retired|
|DNF.||Denis Dupont||Comtoyou Racing||2||Driveshaft|
|DNF.||Aurélien Comte||DG Sport Compétition||1||Collision|
|DNF.||Nathanaël Berthon||Comtoyou Racing||0||Collision|
|DNF.||Esteban Guerrieri||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||0||Collision|
|DNS.||Gianni Morbidelli||Mulsanne SRL||Mechanical|
|WD.||Rob Huff||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Withdrew|
|WD.||Mehdi Bennani||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Withdrew|
|WD.||James Thompson||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Withdrew|
* Post-Race Penalties:
- Gordon Shedden was issued a 5-second post-race time penalty for exceeding track limits and gaining an advantage.
- Frédéric Vervisch was issued a 5-second post-race time penalty for exceeding track limits and gaining an advantage.
Images via FIA WTCR Media