Jean-Karl Vernay beat Leopard Racing team-mate Stefano Comini to pole position in qualifying for the TCR International Series in Macau, with the session being hit by heavy rain between Q1 and Q2.
The Q2 session was delayed as conditions deteriorated at the end of Q1, allowing all of the teams and drivers to equip wet tyres to their cars.
Times tumbled during the 15-minute session, with Vernay setting the pace on his first run with a lap of 3:10.073. The Leopard Volkswagens continued to push the pace, with Vernay then improving by almost five seconds on his second run, before Comini went fastest on his third flying lap.
Ultimately Comini then got held up behind the clearly slower Craft-Bamboo Racing SEAT of Pepe Oriola on his final flying lap, allowing Vernay to take pole with a lap of 3:00.602, just under half a second ahead of Comini in second.
Tiago Monteiro was the leading Honda driver in third, just a fraction over two seconds off the pace, ahead of the SEAT of Antti Buri in fourth.
B3 Racing’s Dušan Borković took the chequered flag in fifth, ahead of WestCoast Racing’s Gianni Morbidelli in sixth, with the latter having momentarily been as high as third before the final runs.
Championship leader James Nash was seventh, ahead of Craft-Bamboo team-mate Sergey Afanasyev in eighth and B3’s Mat’o Homola in ninth.
Oriola struggled for pace on his final run and could only manage tenth. Whilst that would normally mean pole position for the reverse-grid race, the format has changed for this weekend in Macau and the finishing order of race one will form the starting grid for race two, giving Oriola plenty of work in Sunday’s penultimate round of the season.
Target Competition’s Josh Files was 11th quickest, ahead of the third B3 SEAT of Attila Tassi in 12th.
Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Andy Yan was the leading Asian competitor in 13th, just missing out on entry into Q2, ahead of team-mate Davit Kajaia in 14th.
Team Thailand’s Tin Sritrai ended the session in 15th, having been ahead of Yan early on. The Thai racer hit the wall half-way at Turn 15 through Q1, breaking his suspension and forcing him out of the remainder of qualifying.
Petr Fulín was the leading Alfa Romeo Giulietta racer for Mulsanne Racing, ending up in 16th. His team-mate Andrea Belicchi was able to post a time good enough for 19th after his team fixed his turbo issues from Friday. Both drivers benefitted from a 20 kg weight reduction handed to the Giuliettas ahead of qualifying.
Mikhail Grachev was the most notable victim of the infamous Mandarin bend in qualifying, with the Russian driver hitting the wall after ten minutes. He will start at the back of the grid for race one after failing to post a time.
Race one gets underway at 10:00 local time (02:00 GMT, 03:00 CET) on Sunday morning.
|1||2||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Leopard Racing||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||5||3:00.602||0.000|
|2||1||Stefano COMINI||Leopard Racing||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||5||3:01.093||0.491|
|3||81||Tiago MONTEIRO||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||5||3:02.604||2.002|
|4||48||Antti BURI||LMS Racing||SEAT León Cup Racer||5||3:04.393||3.791|
|5||62||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||5||3:04.442||3.840|
|6||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||5||3:04.723||4.121|
|7||54||James NASH||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||5||3:05.033||4.431|
|8||77||Sergey AFANASYEV||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||5||3:05.264||4.662|
|9||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||5||3:05.348||4.746|
|10||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||5||3:05.396||4.794|
|11||50||Josh FILES||Target Competition||Honda Civic TCR||5||3:06.428||5.826|
|12||9||Attila TASSI||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||5||3:07.100||6.498|
|1||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||6||2:33.480||0.000|
|2||2||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Leopard Racing||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||8||2:34.121||0.641|
|3||81||Tiago MONTEIRO||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||6||2:34.217||0.737|
|4||62||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||7||2:34.415||0.935|
|5||54||James NASH||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||8||2:34.456||0.976|
|6||50||Josh FILES||Target Competition||Honda Civic TCR||5||2:34.700||1.220|
|7||1||Stefano COMINI||Leopard Racing||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||7||2:34.738||1.258|
|8||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||7||2:34.814||1.334|
|9||77||Sergey AFANASYEV||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||6||2:34.821||1.341|
|10||9||Attila TASSI||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||7||2:34.892||1.412|
|11||48||Antti BURI||LMS Racing||SEAT León Cup Racer||8||2:35.916||2.436|
|12||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||4||2:36.828||3.348|
|13||3||Andy YAN Cheuk Wai||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||6||2:36.973||3.493|
|14||7||Davit KAJAIA||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||7||2:37.955||4.475|
|15||83||Tin SRITRAI||Team Thailand||Honda Civic TCR||4||2:41.393||7.913|
|16||22||Petr FULÍN||Mulsanne Racing||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||7||2:41.686||8.206|
|17||64||Neric WEI Chaoyin||Son Veng Racing Team||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||7||2:42.557||9.077|
|18||35||Rafaël GALIANA||Target Competition||SEAT León Cup Racer||7||2:44.247||10.767|
|19||23||Andrea BELICCHI||Mulsanne Racing||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||5||2:45.204||11.724|
|20||20||Hon Kei LOU||Elegant Racing Team||SEAT León Cup Racer||7||2:45.292||11.812|
|21||28||Kevin TSE||Teamwork Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||6||2:48.332||14.852|
|22||17||Terence TSE Kin Leung||Roadstar Racing Team||SEAT León Cup Racer||7||2:50.102||16.622|
|23||27||Bill E O’BRIEN||Teamwork Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||7||2:51.754||18.274|
|24||65||Douglas KHOO Kok Hui||Viper Niza Racing||SEAT León Cup Racer||7||3:01.228||27.748|
|25||8||Mikhail GRACHEV||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||1||No time||N/A|
|26||33||Jordi ORIOLA||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||0||No time||N/A|