With a lap time of 08:55:085, Thed Bjork broke his own TCR lap record for the Nurburgring Nordschleife, and in doing so, claimed pole position for race three.
The lap time was posted right at the end of the session in order to dethrone Norbert Michelisz from the top spot, while Frederic Vervisch also got very close to out-qualifying the Swede. Eventually though, Vervisch (who is having the best weekend of his short World Touring Car Cup career) would have to make do with second place, sharing the front row of the grid with Bjork.
Michelisz and Yvan Muller would start from third and fourth in race three, while Yann Ehrlacher was the quickest Honda driver after qualifying fifth – a positive sign after his struggles in race one. At the tail end of the top ten, Pepe Oriola qualified tenth fastest, meaning that he’ll have pole position for the reversed-grid second race (as was the case in Morocco). Alongside him will be wildcard entry, Rene Rast, who perhaps will feel as though he could’ve done better than go ninth fastest after his table-topping exploits in free practice.
As for championship leader, Gabriele Tarquini, the Italian crept into the top ten earlier in the session, but by the time it was all over he found himself down in fourteenth.
Clearly delighted, Bjork commented, “It’s not easy – I fought so hard. I just went for it. There are so many emotions going through your head about how to handle the speed and everything else around here. I’m really happy to be first. Now I just need a better start in Race 3 than I had yesterday.”