Photo: TCR Media

Marco Butti delighted with maiden Honda podium despite damage

Marco Butti claimed the first podium of his FIA TCR World Tour career in the second race at Vallelunga.

The GOAT Racing driver came together with John Filippi at the start which caused damage to his JAS-built Honda Civic Type R FL 5 TCR.

Despite this, the Italian driver still managed to claim a podium on home soil, and was cleared of any wrongdoing in the post-race stewards inquiry concerning the incident.

“At Cimini I saw everyone was braking hard on the inside, so I went to the outside and managed to pass Filippi and Ma Qing Hua”, said Butti to TouringCarTimes.

“When we got out of the corner I just did my line and felt a big bump on my rear, which sent me off into the gravel. I managed to keep the car and get back on track in fourth.

“I tried to push but the front and rear rights were both touching the inside of the wheel arches, which compromised my performance. I have to thank my team and Esteban Guerrieri, who helped me during the race to try and get the best team result for everyone.”

The 19-year-old admits he had hoped for such a result, but he considered it more of a dream before the weekend.

“I was hoping for it [the podium], but I would say it was more of a dream than anything,” said Butti.

“The dream actually came true, so I’m very happy with this first event of the year. Even yesterday, in spite of the penalty I was happy with the race and I had a lot of fun. I learned a lot and I surely grew compared to yesterday morning. Race 2 was quite complicated but I managed to get a podium, so I’ll try to keep going like this and be solid every time we go out on track.”