Filippi fastest in Le Castellet Qualifying

Filippi fastest in Le Castellet Qualifying

Comtoyou’s John Filippi will start his home race from pole position after the French driver set the fastest time in Qualifying at the Circuit Paul Ricard at Le Castellet. Alongside Filippi on the front row of the grid for this evening’s Race 1 will be Drivers’ Championship leader Tom Coronel, with Kobe Pauwels and Nicola Baldan on the second row of the grid in two more Audi cars. Thanks to the reversed-grid top ten for Race 2, the Hyundai of Levente Losonczy will start on pole tomorrow after finishing Qualifying in tenth place.


The first five cars out of the pit lane at the start of the twenty-minute first stage of Qualifying were the Audi RS 3 LMS cars of sister teams Comtoyou and Comtoyou Racing, with Tom Coronel leading out Kobe Pauwels, John Filippi, Viktor Davidovski and Nicola Baldan. Of the five, it was Baldan who set the first competitive lap time (2:14.161) ahead of Lewis Brown in a Volcano Motorsport Audi (2:14.657) and the ALM Motorsport Honda Civic Type R FL5 of Ruben Volt (2:14.884).


Baldan then improved on his next lap with a time of 2:13.872 while Volt went P2 with a time of 2:14.872. Pauwels then beat Baldan’s time by nearly a second to go fastest (2:12.975) with Davidovski going third quickest with a 2:13.930. Aurélien Comte went P4 in an SP Compétition CUPRA (2:13.988) ahead of the Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N of Dušan Borković (2:14.159).


Going into the second half of Q1, Coronel (2:13.538) and Filippi (2:13.676) went P2 and P3 respectively which meant Audi cars held all of the top five positions. That increased to all of the top six when Brown improved to P3 with a 2:13.656. Filippi then improved with a time of 2:13.523 to move into P2 ahead of Coronel. With around two minutes of Q1 remaining, Volt went P2 with a 2:13.459 and Comte P3 with a 2:13.504. In the final minute of the session, Davidovski and Baldan also improved their best laps with times of 2:13.664 and 2:13.593 respectively.


The twelve drivers who went through to the second stage of Qualifying, therefore, were Pauwels, Volt, Comte, Filippi, Coronel, Baldan, Brown, Davidovski, Marco Butti, Borković, Viktor Andersson and Levente Losonczy.


The ten-minute sprint of Qualifying’s second stage would then decide the grids for both the weekend’s races. This time, Pauwels, Coronel and Filippi chose to delay their exit from the pit lane and were among the last to head out on track but once again it was Baldan who set the early pace with a lap of 2:12.900 ahead of Comte (2:13.375) and Brown (2:13.382).


Thanks to their delayed participation in the session, Filippi, Pauwels and Coronel only set their first competitive lap times with around two minutes of Q2 remaining, but those laps saw Filippi set the fastest time (2:12.408) with Coronel P2 (2:12.594) and Pauwels P3 (2:12.704). There were no further improvements in lap times, so Comtoyou and Comtoyou Racing Audi cars will fill both of the first two rows on the grid for Race 1 while Levente Losonczy will start Race 2 from pole position in the Aggressive Team Italia Hyundai. The similar Target Competition car of Marco Butti failed to take part in Q2 as the Elantra had a steering rack problem.


Race 1 is scheduled to start at 19.05 CEST this evening with Race 2 at 12.10 tomorrow. Both races will be streamed live on and the TCR TV app, plus the TCR TV YouTube channel.


Qualifying result

1. John Filippi (Comtoyou, Audi RS 3 LMS)  2:12.408

2. Tom Coronel (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS)  2:12.594

3. Kobe Pauwels (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS)  2:12.704

4. Nicola Baldan (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS)  2:12.900

5. Aurélien Comte (SP Compétition, CUPRA Leon Competición)  2:13.375


Drivers' Championship points

1. Tom Coronel 300pts; 2. John Filippi 259pts; 3. Kobe Pauwels 248pts; 4. Dušan Borković 190pts; 5. Viktor Davidovski 159pts.



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