Just like in the previous TCR Europe event at Oschersleben, Andreas Bäckman set pole position at Barcelona. The Swedish driver managed to qualify for Q2 with the 12th and last fastest time, eliminating Nelson Panciatici by five hundredths of a second. However, in Q2 he was able to pick the right time to take his shot at the pole and beat Josh Files by three tenths. Files’ second position meant that he scored four points and with Luca Engstler off the top-five, the Briton increased his leading margin in the standings to 82 points. Julien Briché resurfaced in the top positions and set the third fastest lap, ahead of Santiago Urrutia and the Clairet brothers.
In seventh and eighth positions followed Tom Coronel and the impressive newcomer Jack Young who managed to place the Renault Mégane RS in Q2 on his first appearance in a TCR competition. Gilles Magnus and Daniel Lloyd qualified ninth and tenth and will share the front row of the grid for Sunday’s Race 2.
Race 1 will start this afternoon at 17:20; live streaming at www.tcr-series.com and www.tcr-series.tv.
Q1 – Santiago Urrutia fastest in the wet
Santiago Urrutia emerged as the fastest on the wet track, as he set the best time by the end of the 20-minute Q1. The Uruguayan was the only driver who completed a lap in less then 2:13, as he was clocked at 2:12.887, while Julien Briché set the second fastest lap of 2:13.046 and demoted Josh Files to third (2:13.326).
As the racing lines dried towards the end, a number of drivers improved, and this was the case for Tom Coronel and Luca Engstler who eventually found a place in the top-twelve, while Nelson Panciatici was the first out of Q2, 0.050 seconds behind the twelfth-placed Andreas Bäckman.
Those who advanced to the second part of Qualifying were: Urrutia, Briché, Files, Daniel Lloyd, Gilles Magnus, Jack Young, Teddy Clairet, Dominik Baumann, Engstler, Jimmy Clairet, Coronel and Andreas Bäckman.
Q2 – Andreas Bäckman beats Josh Files
After barely making the cut for Q2, Andreas Bäckman was able to claim pole position as he waited until the end of the ten-minute Q2 to benefit from a drier tarmac. His 2:12.123 beat Files’ provisional pole position time of 2:12.448, while Briché (2:12.734) and Urrutia (2:12.896) qualified third and fourth respectively, and the Clairet brothers conquered the third row of the grid for Race 1.
Just before the chequered flag was waved, Engstler clocked a 2:13.532 that would have placed him seventh, but that lap was disallowed for a track limit infringement and he dropped back to 12th.
1. 2:12.123 – Andreas Bäckman (Target Competition, Hyundai i30 N)
2. 2.12.448 – Josh Files (Target Competition, Hyundai i30 N)
3. 2.12.734 – Julien Briché (JSB Compétition, Peugeot 308)
4. 2:12.896 – Santiago Urrutia (Team WRT, Audi RS 3 LMS)
5. 2:13.334 – Jimmy Clairet (Team Clairet Sport, Peugeot 308)
1. Files 258 pts; 2. Engstler 176; 3. Julien Briché 169