B3 Racing’s Dusan Borkovic led a dominant display by SEAT León machinery in the second free practice session for the TCR International Series at Estoril, where the top 11 drivers were separated by just over seven tenths of a second.
The former-WTCC driver would post the fastest time of the session, with a 1:48.837 around the 4.182-km circuit, ahead of Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Pepe Oriola and team mate Mat’o Romola, who would round out the top three in the latter part of the session.
Russia’s Sergey Afanasyev would be just 0.040 seconds slower than Romola, making it a SEAT 1-2-3-4. WestCoast Racing’s Gianni Morbidelli would be the fastest of the non-SEAT drivers in fifth place after the conclusion of the shortened practice session, with the top five separated by just 0.226 seconds.
The Italian would find himself being eventually pushed down the times by Romola and Afanasyev, with Jean-Karl Vernay outpacing team mate and defending TCR champion Stefano Comini, as the Frenchman was sixth fastest in his Leopard Racing Volkswagen Golf.
Comini, who was fastest in the first practice session, would end up 11th, 0.706 seconds off the pace set by Borkovic. The Honda Civic TCR of Aku Pellinen would take seventh, with the third SEAT of B3 Racing, piloted by Attila Tassi, following at avery close margin.
WestCoast Racing’s Kevin Gleason would have to settle for ninth in what was a very competitive session in the run up to qualifying, with Liquid Moly Team Engstler’s Davit Kajaia rounding out the top ten in his Golf GTI TCR.
The only notable absentee was Britain’s James Nash, whose SEAT León TCR did not set a lap time.
“It looks good, but it is difficult to understand, as the track conditions are very peculiar. We tried of couple of things in terms of set-up and it worked well,” explained Borkovic, who was faster than Oriola by 0.159 seconds at the end of the session.
“The degradation of the tyres is very high here, especially in the last turn. If you don’t manage well the consumption of the tyres, you can be very fast but still remain behind. It will be a very interesting qualifying!”
Qualifying takes place at 16:40 local time on Saturday (16:40 BST).
|1||62||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||10||1:48.837||0.000|
|2||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||5||1:48.996||0.159|
|3||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||11||1:49.004||0.167|
|4||77||Sergey AFANASYEV||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||7||1:49.044||0.207|
|5||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||7||1:49.063||0.226|
|6||2||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Leopard Racing||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||11||1:49.179||0.342|
|7||14||Aku PELLINEN||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||8||1:49.250||0.413|
|8||9||Attila TASSI||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||11||1:49.293||0.456|
|9||24||Kevin GLEASON||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||12||1:49.438||0.601|
|10||7||Davit KAJAIA||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||9||1:49.457||0.620|
|11||1||Stefano COMINI||Leopard Racing||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||11||1:49.543||0.706|
|12||8||Mikhail GRACHEV||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||9||1:49.962||1.125|
|13||50||Loris HEZEMANS||Baporo Motorsport||SEAT León Cup Racer||11||1:50.328||1.491|
|14||26||Francisco MORA||Baporo Motorsport||SEAT León Cup Racer||12||1:50.563||1.726|
|15||31||Luca RANGONI||Top Run Motorsport||Subaru Sti TCR||11||1:51.146||2.309|
|16||88||Michela CERRUTI||Mulsanne Racing||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||10||1:51.939||3.102|
|17||54||James NASH||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||1||No time||N/A|