In the second appearance of the KUMHO TCR World Tour at a TCR Europe event, Néstor Girolami, driving an ALM Motorsport Honda Civic Type R FL5, set the fastest time in Free Practice 1 at Spa-Francorchamps ahead of the Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 03 of Santiago Urrutia. Tom Coronel was third quickest and the best of the TCR Europe competitors in a Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS.
The first competitive lap times were set by Rob Huff in an Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi RS 3 LMS (2:31.223) and Yann Ehrlacher (2:31.276) and Ma Qing Hua (2:32.116) in pair of Cyan Racing Lynk & Co cars before Tom Coronel set a time of 2:30.441 to go fastest. Ma Qing Hua then improved with a lap of 2:31.429 but remained in P4.
Coronel improved his time on the next lap with a 2:30.409, with John Filippi going P2 with a time of 2:30.924 before Hua bettered him with a 2:30.726. Behind the trio were Thed Björk (2:30.945), Frédéric Vervisch (2:31.019) and Huff, while four of the top ten places were held by TCR Europe entrants; besides Coronel and Filippi, Felipe Fernández was ninth (2:31.587) and Viktor Davidovski was tenth (2:31.648).
With just under ten minutes of the half-hour session remaining, Santiago Urrutia went fastest with a lap of 2:30.029. Huff then improved his best lap time with a 2:30.970 while the BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N of Mikel Azcona went P8 with a 2:31.229. Girolami then went P1 (2:30.021) with around two minutes remaining before the session was red-flagged after debris was reported on track at Turn 1. Coronel appeared to be on course to improve his best lap after setting the fastest Sector 1 time, but the red flags brought proceedings to a premature end and so Coronel had to settle for P3.
So it was the Honda Civic Type R FL5 of Néstor Girolami that ended the session at the top of the timesheet, with the Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 03 of Santiago Urrutia in P2. Tom Coronel was the best of the TCR Europe drivers, while Ma Qing Hua and John Filippi rounded off the top five.
1. Néstor Girolami (ALM Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R FL5) 2:30.021
2. Santiago Urrutia (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03) 2:30.039
3. Tom Coronel (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS) 2:30.054
4. Ma Qing Hua (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03) 2:30.726
5. John Filippi (Comtoyou, Audi RS 3 LMS) 2:30.924
Free Practice 2 takes place at 14.35 CEST this afternoon while Qualifying is scheduled to start at 10.40 CEST tomorrow and 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 tcr-series.tv and the TCR TV app together with the TCR TV YouTube channel.