Files beats Magnus for the pole by 10 thousandths

Files beats Magnus for the pole by 10 thousandths

Josh Files gave Hyundai and Target Competition their second TCR Europe pole position out of two Qualifying sessions. After Mat’o Homola at the Hungaroring, Files was the fastest in Hockenheim, beating the current points leader Gilles Magnus by only 10 thousandths of a second. Local hero Luca Engstler and Maxime Potty will fill the second row of the grid, with Andreas Bäckman and Aurélien Comte in fifth and sixth positions. The top-six were only covered by less than two tenths.
Julien Briché and Jessica Bäckman secured a front row spot on the top-ten reverse grid for Sunday’s Race 2.
From the very beginning of Q1 all drivers were faster than in Practice and many completed laps under the 1:48 mark on their very first run. Files set a provisional fastest time of 1:47.429 that was immediately improved by Engstler’s 1:47.381. Midway through the session, Andreas Bäckman was clocked at 1:47.340, but moments later he was ousted by Magnus’ 1:47.205 that was soon beaten by Briché’s 1:47.177
Q1 was red-flagged with three minute left, when Martin Ryba’s Honda crashed at T1. When action resumed, there was time for one lap only and only a few were able to improve: Daniel Lloyd posted the fastest lap of 1:47.159, while Santiago Urrutia, Luca Filippi, Mat’o Homola and Comte improved enough to make the cut for Q2.
The drivers allowed to Q2 were: Lloyd, Briché, Magnus, Andreas Bäckman, Engstler, Jessica Bäckman, Urrutia, Files, Luca Filippi, Homola, Potty and Comte.
With the 14 fastest cars covered by five tenths only, no wonder that some of the top drivers were eliminated; amongst them Paulsen (13th, 17 thousandths of a second slower than Comte in 12th), Borković, Morbidelli, Nagy, Coronel and Panciatici.
In Q2, most of the drivers set their fastest lap on the first attempt, with Files 1:47.095, Magnus 1:47.105 and Potty 1:47.187 filling the top three spots of the timesheet. The second attempt meant improvements only for Engstler (1:47.135) who stole third place from Potty, and Briché (1:47.722) who secured the tenth position and so pole position for Race 2.
Race 1 will start this afternoon at 14:40; live streaming at

1. 1:47.095 – Josh Files (Target Competition, Hyundai i30 N)
2. 1:47.105 – Gilles Magnus (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS)
3. 1:47.135 – Luca Engstler (M1RA Motorsport,Hyundai i30 N)
4. 1:47.187 – Maxime Potty (Comtoyou Racing, Volkswagen Golf GTI)
5. 1:47.271 – Andreas Bäckman (Target Competition, Hyundai i30 N)

Championship points
1. Magnus 61 pts; 2. Files 57; 3. Panciatici 57

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