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Dušan Borković claims maiden TCR pole at Spa

Dušan Borković claimed his first pole position in the TCR International Series in qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, ahead of Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Pepe Oriola in second.

Borković had earlier been the second fastest driver in Q1 behind Oriola, but the Serbian racer found extra time in the second segment of the session to beat his fellow SEAT racer by 0.241 seconds.

B3 Racing’s Borković thus makes it two poles in a row for the Hungarian team, following the pole claimed by team-mate Mat’o Homola last time out in Portugal.

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Pellinen ended the session in third, 0.367 seconds further back, and was the only Honda driver to make it through to Q2, after team-mates Kevin Gleason and Gianni Morbidelli were knocked out of Q1 after continuing to struggle for pace.

Sergey Afanasyev put his Craft-Bamboo SEAT in fourth for race one, ahead of team-mate and championship leader James Nash in fifth.

Homola ended the session in sixth, despite having his first lap time in Q2 deleted for exceeding the track limits. The third B3 SEAT of youngster Attila Tassi was seventh, making it six Leóns in the top seven positions.

Leopard Racing’s Stefano Comini was the leading Volkswagen racer in eighth, ahead of team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay in ninth, who had originally had his time disallowed for exceeding the track limits but which was later reinstated after the stewards deemed he had only been warned once about the infraction.

The reinstatement of Vernay’s time left fellow WRT runner Antti Buri in the Team WRT-branded Golf in tenth and with the reverse-grid pole for race two.

Local racer Pierre-Yves Corthals was relegated to 11th after the reinstatement of Vernay’s time, just missing the cut in his older-spec León Cup Racer.

Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Jimmy Clairet impressed by making it through to Q2 on his and the team’s first appearance with the Peugeot 308, although he ended up in 12th, 2.537 seconds off the pace.

The biggest surprise was that neither of WestCoast Racing’s more experienced TCR racers Gleason or Morbidelli made it past Q1, with the duo forced to start from 13th and 15th respectively for both racers, with Morbidelli in particular likely to struggle as he has to carry maximum success ballast.

Liqui Moly Team Engstler also endured a difficult qualifying session, with Davit Kajai in 14th separating the two WestCoast Honda’s, and Mikhail Grachev down in 17th, ahead of the second Peugeot of Grégory Guilvert, who props up the back of the grid.

Q2 times

1 62 Dušan BORKOVIĆ B3 Racing Team Hungary SEAT León TCR 4 2:33.065 0.000
2 74 Pepe ORIOLA Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL SEAT León TCR 4 2:33.306 0.241
3 14 Aku PELLINEN West Coast Racing Honda Civic TCR 4 2:33.432 0.367
4 77 Sergey AFANASYEV Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL SEAT León TCR 4 2:33.680 0.615
5 54 James NASH Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL SEAT León TCR 4 2:33.805 0.740
6 70 Mat’o HOMOLA B3 Racing Team Hungary SEAT León TCR 4 2:33.870 0.805
7 9 Attila TASSI B3 Racing Team Hungary SEAT León TCR 4 2:33.896 0.831
8 1 Stefano COMINI Leopard Racing Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR 4 2:34.061 0.996
9 2 Jean-Karl VERNAY Leopard Racing Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR 4 2:34.190 1.125
10 48 Antti BURI Team WRT Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR 4 2:34.273 1.208
11 49 Pierre-Yves CORTHALS Ferry Monster Autosport SEAT León Cup Racer 4 2:34.764 1.699
12 30 Jimmy CLAIRET Sébastien Loeb Racing Peugeot 308 Racing Cup 4 2:35.502 2.437

Complete session results

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