Four TCR Europe cars in the top five in FP2 at Spa

Four TCR Europe cars in the top five in FP2 at Spa

The fastest time in Free Practice 2 at Spa-Francorchamps was set by the Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS of Kobe Pauwels, with his teammate Tom Coronel just over a tenth of a second slower in second place. Dušan Borković was third in a Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N with the ALM Motorsport Honda Civic Type R FL5 of Néstor Girolami finishing the session as the best of the KUMHO TCR World Tour field. John Filippi was fifth, which meant TCR Europe competitors filled four of the top five places.


The first flying lap saw the quickest times set by the two BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse cars of Mikel Azcona (2:32.926) and Norbert Michelisz (2:35.394) but lap times then swiftly began to reduce. Ben Bargwanna set a 2:34.976 to go P2 briefly before Levente Losonczy claimed the position with a 2:34.252 and Mikael Karlsson went fourth fastest with a time of 2:35.242, leaving Bargwanna’s Peugeot 308 as the only non-Hyundai in the top five.


That situation didn’t last long, however. First Felipe Fernández went fastest with a 2:32.127 and then Lewis Brown went P3 (2:32.983) ahead of Dušan Borković (2:33.154). After a frustrating run in this morning’s first Free Practice session, Kobe Pauwels set a time of 2:32.414 to go P3 briefly before Thed Björk (2:31.207) and then Tom Coronel (2:30.930) took it in turns to go P1. Frédéric Vervisch was P2 in an Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi RS 3 LMS (2:31.170) and Yann Ehrlacher was P4 behind his Cyan Racing Lynk & Co teammate Björk with a 2:31.319.


After the thirty-minute session had reached its halfway point, Néstor Girolami set a time of 2:30.981 to go P2 behind Coronel. At that point, Viktor Andersson was the highest-placed TCR Europe Rookie in P8 ahead of Azcona with a best lap of 2:31.839. With less than five minutes remaining, Borković improved his best lap with a 2:30.949 to go P2 but Pauwels then set a time of 2:30.800 to go P1 ahead of Coronel.


Thanks to Rubén Fernández having stopped at Turn 12 with around three minutes left on the clock, the yellow flags between Turns 11 and 12 meant there would no further improvements in lap times. As a result, it was Pauwels who ended the session at the top of the timesheet, with Coronel second and Borković third. John Filippi was fifth behind Girolami, with those five drivers separated by just over two-tenths of a second.


Kobe Pauwels (fastest): “It feels great, of course, but to be honest I didn’t expect that after FP1, where we had some issues. It was quite frustrating at your home race where you want to perform well and to do that you always feel you have to do the maximum mileage you can get. So I felt quite frustrated before putting my helmet on for FP2 but immediately I felt comfortable in the car; the team had sorted everything out perfectly and we were on top, so yes it’s quite a big turn-around but I’m not complaining!”


Top positions

1. Kobe Pauwels (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS)  2:30.800

2. Tom Coronel (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS) 2:30.930

3. Dušan Borković (Target Competition, Hyundai Elantra N)  2:30.949

4. Néstor Girolami (ALM Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R FL5)  2:30.981

5. John Filippi (Comtoyou, Audi RS 3 LMS)  2:31.011


The two-stage Qualifying session is scheduled to start at 10.40 CEST tomorrow with Race 1 at 15.30. Race 2 is then scheduled for 11.40 on Sunday morning. Qualifying and both races will be streamed live on and the TCR TV app plus the TCR TV YouTube channel.


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