Norisring Free Practice 2: Callejas quickest after repairs

Norisring Free Practice 2: Callejas quickest after repairs

After the dramatic end to this morning’s first Free Practice session at the Norisring, in which Isidro Callejas’ CUPRA was hit by the Audi of Rubén Fernández, the Volcano Motorsport team had to make extensive repairs to the front of Callejas’ car. The Spanish teenager duly thanked them by setting the fastest time in Free Practice 2 although Callejas himself admitted that the forecast weather conditions will be very different for Qualifying and the two races.


It was the Italian Rookie Marco Butti who was the first to set a competitive lap time with a 1:02.955, but that time was swiftly beaten by Franco Girolami (1:02.139) and Callejas (1:01.544) with Butti improving his best lap with a 1:01.870. Callejas and Girolami then improved their times with laps of 1:01.234 and 1:01.594 respectively, with Callejas’ Volcano Motorsport teammate Klim Gavrilov third quickest with a lap of 1:01.804.


After around ten minutes of the half-hour session, the three Halder Motorsport cars were fifth, sixth and seventh with Jack Young (1:01.993) heading Michelle (1:02.146) and Mike Halder (1:02.245). Things didn’t stay that way for long, with Mike Halder first improving to P5 with a 1:01.899 and then one lap later going P4 with a time of 1:01.725. Butti, meanwhile, had moved back up to P2 with a lap of 1:01.551.


Two-thirds of the way through the session, Callejas improved his best lap time with a 1:01.167 and then pulled into the pits to watch the remaining ten minutes or so from the pit wall, correctly predicting that his time wouldn’t be beaten. By now, the rain was getting heavier and although a number of drivers would improve their times – among them Michelle Halder (1:01.804), Girolami (1:01.440), Young (1:01.723) and Butti first with a 1:01.182 and then on the next lap going faster still by just one-thousandths of a second – nobody would better Callejas.


In the final few minutes, Girolami and Young marginally improved their best laps again, with Mike Halder then going P4 with a time of 1:01.414 and finally Viktor Davidovski beating Halder with a 1:01.368 after making a number of changes to his Comtoyou Racing Audi.


Isidro Callejas (fastest): “This Free Practice session has a particularly special meaning after what happened in FP1. Of course, it doesn’t mean anything in terms of performance because of the wet conditions and the fact that nobody was taking risks. It’s important to see that we are all working hard to be here. I’m delighted with the work the team did to repair the car; this result is for them. When it started to rain, I thought there was no sense in taking risks on a street circuit in the wet so I said to my engineer that I wanted to stop and see what happened. It was the correct decision because I knew the track wouldn’t improve.”


Top positions

1.     Isidro Callejas (Volcano Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición)   1:01.167

2.     Marco Butti (Élite Motorsport, Audi RS 3 LMS TCR)   1:01.181

3.     Franco Girolami (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS TCR)   1:01.274

4.     Viktor Davidovski (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS TCR)   1:01.368

5.     Mike Halder (Halder Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R)   1:01.414

6.     Jack Young (Halder Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R)   1:01.656


The two-stage Qualifying session is scheduled to start at 11.05 CEST tomorrow with Race 1 at 17.40. Race 2 is then at 17.00 on Sunday. Qualifying and both races will be streamed live on the series’ social media pages and on the TCR Portal.


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