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Honda 1-2 as Kevin Gleason takes Salzburgring pole

WestCoast Racing’s Kevin Gleason scored a last-gasp pole position in qualifying for the TCR International Series at the Salzburgring, ahead of team-mate Gianni Morbidelli.

Having seemingly only just scraped into Q2 with all three Hondas near the bottom of the times in Q1, Gleason left it until the dying seconds in Q2 to take pole position away from team-mate Morbidelli, who was just 0.091 seconds behind.

The duo thus denied Target Competition’s Stefano Comini pole, with the SEAT driver having sat on top of the times for the majority of the closing half of the decisive Q2 session. The Swiss driver will start race one on Sunday from third on the grid, with the top Craft-Bamboo Lukoil car of Pepe Oriola alongside in fourth.

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Fifth and sixth went to Oriola’s team-mates, with Jordi Gené ahead of Sergey Afanasyev on the third row of the grid.

The second Target car of Andrea Belicchi was seventh, ahead of the leading Liqui Moly Team Engstler car of Mikhail Grachev.

Ninth fastest was Michel Nykjær, ahead of the third Honda of Igor Skuz, who will start the second race on Sunday from pole position as a result.

Both Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Lorenzo Veglia and Bas Koeten Racing’s Bas Schouten missed out on the reverse grid, qualifying in 11th and 12th respectively.

The top driver not to make it through to Q2 was German driver Markus Östreich, who had been on a fast lap in his Campos Racing Opel Astra before he lost control of his car approaching Turn 11 and spun off. The veteran racer will thus start his first-ever TCR race from 13th.

Zengő Motorsport’s Zsolt Szabó also missed out on Q2 having crashed into the barriers in Q1, and the Hungarian will start race one from 14th.

The second Campos Opel of Fernando Monje failed to post a competitive time in the session, leaving the Spaniard to start 15th and last, a disappointment for the 22-year-old after the highs of his first podium last time out in Italy.

Q2 times

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 24 Kevin GLEASON West Coast Racing Honda Civic TCR 7 1:26.915 0.000
2 10 Gianni MORBIDELLI West Coast Racing Honda Civic TCR 7 1:27.006 0.091
3 25 Stefano COMINI Target Competition SEAT León Racer 7 1:27.107 0.192
4 74 Pepe ORIOLA Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL SEAT León Racer 7 1:27.168 0.253
5 88 Jordi GENÉ Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL SEAT León Racer 7 1:27.269 0.354
6 77 Sergey AFANASYEV Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL SEAT León Racer 7 1:27.310 0.395
7 33 Andrea BELICCHI Target Competition SEAT León Racer 7 1:27.314 0.399
8 8 Mikhail GRACHEV Liqui Moly Team Engstler SEAT León Racer 6 1:27.386 0.471
9 17 Michel NYKJÆR Target Competition SEAT León Racer 7 1:27.403 0.488
10 20 Igor SKUZ West Coast Racing Honda Civic TCR 7 1:27.628 0.713
11 7 Lorenzo VEGLIA Liqui Moly Team Engstler SEAT León Racer 5 1:27.704 0.789
12 34 Bas SCHOUTEN ST Motorsport / Bas Koeten Racing SEAT León Racer 7 1:27.981 1.066

Complete session results

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