Flash News - FIA ETCC - Paul Ricard (FR)
Flash news n.4 - FIA ETCC - Paul Ricard (FR) - 21.04.2014
Mato after the race: "On Sunday, it was raining and I was actually surprised how my new car worked in both dry or wet conditions. I would really like to thanks to the guys in our team for doing great job with the set-up.
In the first race, I have started from the 3rd position as my rival Franz Engstler with BMW retired from the race. After the start I was 2nd later on 4th, basically it was all changing in every corner. I was also very surprised that I could chase front-wheel-drive race cars, which have an advantage in wet conditions.
I was the first BMW and in 5th lap I had a great pace and I had a chance to overtake 2 cars at the same time. Unfortunately one of them – Norbert Kiss with Alfa Romeo pushed me slightly on the blue stripe, which is extremely slippery. With the 5th gear on I got into huge spin which resulted into 3 times crash into the concrete wall.
I have to admit that it was my fault. I could have slowed down a bit and go behind Norbi. But I wanted to risk and get the second place, because I knew I am faster. The crash was big but it looks like the engine is okay. We have to check what has to be repaired and replaced.
FIA ETCC Slovakia Ring is on 11th of May and we want to be ready for the race, because we know we have the pace. Every home-event in front of Slovak fans was great so I hope it will be the same this time!."
Flash news n.3 - FIA ETCC - Paul Ricard (FR) - 19.04.2014
Mato after Qualifying: "I am happy about the result of qualifying! In the morning we had a problem with the fuel tank so I couldn't test the car during the practice. I reckon this practice would have helped me a lot.
Fortunately we have fixed the problem and we started the Qualifying. I knew there are some places I can go faster so I pushed a lot. In the end the lap time I did was 1.5 second faster than yesterday's practice. I have finished at 4th place, in front of me where 2 Chevrolets and Franz Engstler with BMW. His time was only 0,6 sec faster than mine and I think it is a great start for me as Franz raced with BMW for many years.
I want to say that even this was my first experience with Turbo BMW I did a great lap time. Chevrolets are kinda on a different level, they where the kings of the racing track for past 4 years so they had to have more weight. Meanwhile BMW had the lowest weight. In ETCC it completely opposite and BMW is the heaviest car in the starting grid and they loose a lot. We believe it will get balanced soon.
Tomorrow it might rain a bit, I prefer dry conditions but I will do my best. At 9:10 we have the morning warm-up and right after that there will be 2 races. Keep the fingers crossed :)
Flash news n.2 - FIA ETCC - Paul Ricard (FR) - 19.04.2014
Mato after Saturday's Practice: "Yesterday after the practice tests we went through the data we have collected and we found places where we can go faster. Today's practice started very early – at 8:30. Unfortunately, at the end of 1st lap the car stopped working. At first, we thought we don't have enough gas, but later on we managed to find out that it was faulty fuel pump.
We would like to thank to Milan Vesnic, who is also racing here with BMW (320si) for lending us working fuel pump. Now everything works great! Qualifying starts at 1:10 PM. Keep the fingers crossed :) "
Flash news n.1 - FIA ETCC - Paul Ricard (FR) - 18.04.2014
Mato after Friday's practice: "First of all I would like to say that I am very happy to be racing in new season of European Touring Car Cup at Paul Ricard Circuit. We racing at the shortened version of the track, it has only 3,8km, but it is still a challenge due to curbs or curves with double apexes.
In the first practice we have used older tires just to get know the track and my new race car, which is a lot different as it has a turbo. For the next practice we used new tires and it was immediately a lot better! The only thing was the traffic, there are 31 cars over here and in each lap I was overtaking many cars. But except that it was great! I did a great lap time and overall it was 4th position.
Each kilometre I drive in the car is better and better, there are places I can drive faster so I will do my best on Saturday."