The victory that never was. Giacomo Ghermandi talks about his near-win at Slovakia Ring

The victory that never was. Giacomo Ghermandi talks about his near-win at Slovakia Ring

5. 7. 2023 0 News ,

It was a happy but also very painful race at Slovakia Ring for Giacomo Ghermandi from the Scuderia Ghermandi team. The Italian driver crossed the finish line first in the second race, only to find out at Parc Fermé that he had received a time penalty for a jump start.

Giacomo Ghermandi returned to the TCR Eastern Europe series, and after a difficult start to the season, he and his team finally made progress towards higher places in the results. Ghermandi finished fifth twice in the third round at Red Bull Ring and scored another fifth place in the opening race at Slovakia Ring. Then there was the second race.

“At the start, Petr Fulín jr. forced me onto the grass and I dropped to sixth,” says Ghermandi, who started from fourth place. “But then, at the end of the first lap, I was already in the lead. I felt like I was in a tunnel, the car was perfect, and there was only a clear track ahead of me. I thought about driving like in qualifying to build a gap.”

However, the local driver and championship leader Maťo Homola appeared in the mirrors of Ghermandi’s Audi in the second half of the race, and the battle began: “I was defending well in the first and third sectors, but in the central sector, he was faster than me. On the last lap, he attempted a very decisive attack after turn 4, and I lost a lot of time defending myself… but I did everything possible to stay in the lead.”

During the race, however, the stewards announced a ten-second penalty for Ghermandi’s jump start. Unaware of the penalty, Ghermandi was enjoying his win for a few minutes. “When I crossed the finish line, I screamed with joy inside the helmet for the whole lap. The happiness was crazy, the first victory in an official TCR competition. I was super happy for the team, for the sponsors, and for all the fans who follow me from home. Finally, I had won my first race… a joy that lasted exactly 10 minutes.”

So, why didn’t the team tell Ghermandi about the penalty during the race? “First of all, it’s not the fault of the team, who did a fantastic job this weekend and are continuing to grow race after race. Unfortunately, my coach was in a position where he only had access to the race monitors of the circuit, which didn’t report anything about the jump start during the race, so I literally only found out about the penalty in Parc Fermé directly from my opponent when I got out of the car. It was very painful.”

If Ghermandi had known about the penalty, he admits he wouldn´t have been fighting with Homola. Instead, he would have let him pass without wasting time and continued to push hard until the finish. “I don’t know if I would have been able to open up a 10-second margin to secure the podium, but I certainly would have finished in the top 5.”

Anyway, Giacomo Ghermandi and the whole team proved their progress. “We have been continuously growing since the beginning of the season, and now we know that anything is possible. We will fight in Most and in Brno as hard as we can to get on the podium, which is our goal from now until the end of the season!”