In the second free practice, Sami Taoufik, Jessica Bäckman, Evgenii Leonov and Nicolas Baert confirmed to be amongst the TCR Europe’s fastest drivers around the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit.
Taoufik and his Comtoyou Racing Audi encored the result from the first session and topped the timesheet once again, leaving the rest of the field half-a-second behind once again. Both Jessica Bäckman and Leonov improved their results from FP1; the Swedish lady driver posted the second fastest time and the Russian the third, they had been third and fifth respectively, while Baert confirmed himself as the fourth fastest.
Compared to the FP1, John Filippi who had ranked second, dropped down to 18th as his car was stuck in second gear due to an electronic issue.
Leonov was the first one to post a competitive lap of 1:55.487 but was soon demoted to second by Jessica Bäckman’s 1:55.208. Just like in the previous session, Taoufik set the fastest lap for good in the final moments with a lap of 1:54.653 and Baert clocked the fourth fastest lap of 1:55.556, demoting Pepe Oriola to fifth by only three thousandths of a second.
Mat’o Homola, Mike Halder, Dániel Nagy, Andreas Bäckman and Teddy Clairet rounded off the top-ten, with Julien Briché and Mehdi Bennani in 11th and 12th positions respectively.
The current points leader Daniel Lloyd ranked only 17th, as once again he was focusing on the race set up rather than on pure performance.
Taoufik commented: “To be honest, I really didn’t expect to be P1 again - this weekend has been full of nice surprises so far. Hopefully we can keep the pace for Qualifying tomorrow and have at least one good race this weekend. We took new tyres in the session, like everyone else I think, but we also had a new car setup; we tried to go more on the back so we could have more rotation around the slower corners, and it seems to have paid off. I’m really happy with the team, really happy with myself and hopefully we can keep the pace. I know it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, but I consider myself to be really good in the wet. In all my previous races I’ve done better in the wet than in the dry, so we’ll do whatever the weather throws at us - dry, wet or whatever.”
The Qualifying session will take place tomorrow at 11:45 local time (CEST); live streaming at www.tcr-series.com.
1. 1:54.653 – Sami Taoufik (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS)
2. 1:55.208 – Jessica Bäckman (Target Competition, Hyundai i30 N)
3. 1:55.487 – Evgenii Leonov (Volcano Motorsport, CUPRA)
4. 1:55.556 – Nicolas Baert (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS)
5. 1:55.559 – Pepe Oriola (Brutal Fish Racing Team, Honda Civic Type R)