Luca Filippi has claimed the first pole position of his TCR Europe Series career, leading a Hyundai 1-2-3 lock-out in the process.
It would appear as though the Hyundai contingent kept their powder well and truly dry during practice, as the South Korean cars suddenly found pace in qualifying that they hadn’t shown at any point on Friday.
Ex-Formula E racer, Luca Filippi, was the man who came out on top as a result. The BRC Racing driver set a pole time of 01:36.128, putting him less than a tenth of a second clear of Target Competition‘s Josh Files.
Nelson Panciatici ended up third for Yvan Muller’s M Racing team. The French youngster had shown real promise in the early rounds of the season, but since then, results have dropped away somewhat. A strong qualifying performance such as this one will hopefully reignite what could be a very impressive debut season in TCR.
The best of the rest was Davit Kajaia in his Cupra. The Georgian was three tenths of a second down on Filippi’s lap time, but looks to be on course for one of his best weekends of the year so far.
Behind him in fifth is where you’ll find Daniel Lloyd. The reigning TCR UK Champion had dominated practice, but had no answer to the pace that Hyundai have managed to find since then. Nonetheless, following on from a difficult weekend in Asia, Lloyd will be hoping to pick up a healthy points tally this time out.
Maxime Potty was the best of the Volkswagen brigade in sixth, just ahead of Luca Engstler in seventh. Having swapped his Renault for a Cupra, Alex Morgan reached new heights on the European stage and will be starting Race One from eighth on the grid.
Gianni Morbidelli claimed a much-needed top ten starting position in ninth, while the first five rows of the grid for Race One will be rounded out by Tom Coronel.
However, with that all-important tenth place finish in Qualifying, Coronel will in fact be on pole for the reversed-grid Race Two.
As for Peugeot, their Balance of Performance woes continued. With severely ballast-laden cars, championship points leader Julien Briche found himself mired down in eighteenth, while fellow contender Aurelien Comte could only manage 21st now that the 308 TCR is 70kg heavier than it was.