Francisco Mora of Veloso Motorsport and Antti Buri of LMS Racing – both at the wheel of SEAT León cars – emerged as the fastest drivers in the two Qualifying sessions at Jerez de la Frontera today. The Spanish event is valid as fourth round of the TCR Portugal and sixth round of the TCR Trophy Europe.
Both the 15-minute sessions were incredibly close: the fifth fastest drivers in the Qualifying for Race 1 were covered by less than five tenths, while the best six in the Qualifying for Race 2 were within eight tenths.
In Qualifying 1, it took only two laps to Mora to clock the fastest lap of 1:56.469; his competitors improved, but not enough to beat his time. Rafael Lobato, also in a SEAT León, qualified in second position (1:56.657) ahead of Manuel Gião’s Volkswagen Golf (1:56.668) and Pierre-Yves Corthals’ Opel Astra (1:56.808), while Buri set the fifth fastest lap (1:56.952).
Buri got his revenge in Qualifying 2 with a fastest lap of 1:56.131; Mora posted two consecutive quick laps of 1:56.390 and 1:56.351 that gave him the second position. César Machado qualified third in the SEAT he shares with Lobato (1:56.736), beating by narrow margins Gião’s co-driver Francisco Abreu (1:56.776) and Corthals’ co-driver Frédéric Caprasse (1:56.894).
The Veloso Motorsport pairing of Nuno Batista and Francisco Carvalho – who are currently leading in the TCR Portugal standings – qualified their SEAT twice in sixth position.
After being seventh fastest in the first session, José Rodrigues decided to skip Qualifying 2 because his Honda Civic was not well balanced following a contact with another competitor in the morning’s practice.
Tomorrow’s races will start at 10:05 and 16:30 local time.