Spa Qualifying: Girolami claims his first pole position of 2022

Spa Qualifying: Girolami claims his first pole position of 2022

Comtoyou Racing’s Franco Girolami will start the first race at Spa-Francorchamps from pole position after setting the fastest time in this morning’s two-stage Qualifying session in his Audi RS 3 LMS TCR. It’s the first time this season that Girolami has qualified on pole and the result means the Argentinian driver has extended his lead in the Drivers’ championship. Alongside Girolami on the grid will be the Volcano Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición of Klim Gavrilov, while it will be Jáchym Galáš on pole position for the reversed-grid Race 2 tomorrow in a HYUNDAI | Janík Motorsport Hyundai Elantra N.


The opening twenty-minute stage of Qualifying saw Gavrilov set the first competitive lap time (2:30.992) ahead of his teammate Isidro Callejas (2:31.345) and Nicola Baldan in a Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N (2:31.684), but Girolami soon went P2 with a lap of 2:31.104 before Tom Coronel in a sister Audi went quicker (2:31.002). Felice Jelmini was P4 with a time of 2:31.204. There were then no improvements among the top six before the field headed for the pits and a change to fresh tyres.


When they emerged, Callejas went fastest with a 2:30.938 while Pepe Oriola improved to P7 (2:31.346). The final two minutes of Q1 were then fairly frantic, with Viktor Davidovski going P12 (2:32.041) and briefly edging Josh Files out of the top twelve before the 2019 TCR Europe Champion set a time of 2:30.940 that saw him comfortably through to Q2. Jelmini, meanwhile, had set the quickest time (2:30.629) with Jack Young’s Halder Motorsport Honda Civic Type R in P2 (2:30.706) and Baldan improving to P3 (2:30.711). Mat’o Homola had his best lap deleted due to track limit infringements at Turn 17, but his second-best lap was enough to see him progress to Q2.


The twelve drivers who went through to Q2 were Jelmini, Young, Baldan, Callejas, Files, Gavrilov, Coronel, Girolami, Jáchym Galáš, Oriola, John Filippi and Homola.


The ten-minute second stage of Qualifying was then even more hectic than usual, thanks to the longest lap of the TCR Europe season at Spa-Francorchamps effectively turning the session into a one-lap shootout. Again it was Gavrilov who was the first to set a competitive lap time (2:30.441) ahead of Baldan (2:30.659), Jelmini (2:30.749), Files (2:30.854) and Young (2:30.874) before Girolami set the quickest time of the session to snatch pole position with a 2.30.110. Callejas then went P3 with a time of 2:30.630 and so the young Spaniard will start this afternoon’s Race 1 from the second row of the grid alongside Baldan. Having delayed his start to Q2, Coronel was ninth fastest in what appeared to be a tactical move and so will start Race 2 tomorrow on the front row of the reversed grid, with the Hyundai Elantra N of Galáš on pole.


Qualifying result

1.     Franco Girolami (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS TCR)   2:30.110

2.     Klim Gavrilov (Volcano Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición)+0.331

3.     Isidro Callejas (Volcano Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición)   +0.520

4.     Nicola Baldan (Target Competition, Hyundai Elantra N)  +0.549

5.     Felice Jelmini (Target Competition, Hyundai Elantra N)   +0.639

6.     Josh Files (Target Competition, Hyundai Elantra N)   +0.744


Championship points

1. Girolami 143 pts; 2. Coronel 120 pts; 3. Gavrilov 117 pts; 4. Oriola 96 pts; 5. Fiippi 90 pts.


Race 1 is scheduled to start at 15.00CEST this afternoon and will be streamed live on TCR TV and the series’ social media platforms.


Race 1 -


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