Jean-Karl Vernay and Maxime Potty confirmed that they are the drivers to beat this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.
The French driver set the pace in both Q1 and Q2 at the wheel of his Leopard Lukoil Team’s Audi RS3 LMS and secured pole position for this afternoon’s Race 1.
On his home racetrack, Potty claimed his best result so far, qualifying second in the Comtoyou Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI. It was a similar story for Julien Briché, who was third fastest in the JSB Compétition Peugeot 308.
Championship co-leaders Mikel Azcona’s Cupra and Dušan Borković’s Hyundai qualified in fourth and sixth respectively, with Stian Paulsen splitting them in fifth. The best two Honda cars were Josh Files’ and Stefano Comini’s in seventh and eighth, meaning that cars from six different brands filled the first seven positions.
Target Competition teammates Reece Barr and Kris Richard secured the front row on the reverse grid for tomorrow’s Race 2.
Danny Kroes and Attila Tassi were the most disappointed. Kroes had several lap times disallowed for repeatedly infringing track limits in Q2, including a 2:29.978 that would have placed him fifth, while Tassi blamed himself for not going through to Q2, saying that he couldn’t quite get his braking points right.
The first race will start this afternoon at 17:20 (live streaming at www.tcr-series.com and www.tcr-series.tv).
Q1 – Vernay beats Potty by six tenths
With a final impressive lap, Vernay set a new track record for TCR cars, clocking a 2:28.882 that placed him on top of the time sheet, beating Potty’s provisional fastest lap of 2:29.472 by six tenths of a second.
Azcona produced a last-gap effort as well, jumping from 12th to third with a final lap of 2:29.835 that demoted Briché (2:30.098) and Borković (2:30.348) to fourth and fifth respectively.
Files, who had been the fastest in the early stages with a lap of 2:30.358 was not able to improve and was classified sixth. His teammate Tassi failed to make the cut, ranking in a disappointing 14th position behind Møller and Mora who were also eliminated.
The other drivers who advanced to Q2 were Nagy, Comini, Richard, Kroes, Paulsen and Barr who filled the positions from ninth to 12th.
The session was disrupted by the red flag after only four minutes, when Viktor Davidovski went off at Raidillon and crashed into the tyre wall.
Q2 – Vernay and Potty maintain their positions
One lap was enough for Vernay to improve further to 2:28.735 and secure the pole position, while Potty was second fastest again with a lap of 2:29.302.
Briché (2:29.414) and Azcona (2:29.739) qualified in third and fourth respectively, followed by Paulsen (2:29.999) and Borković (2:30.079).