Georgian racer Davit Kajaia took his and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta’s maiden pole position in qualifying for the TCR International Series at Rustavi, beating Hungarian Attila Tassi to the top spot.
Kajaia beat M1RA’s Tassi to is first-ever pole in TCR by a comfortable margin of over half a second, after the Georgian driver put in a fast lap with just over three minutes to go in Q2.
“I was fast during practice but I didn’t expect that I would be on pole position after qualifying,” said Kajaia. “The car was in good shape and we made some changes after second practice, and these changes were good for this circuit. Now I am on pole position and it is an amazing feeling because it is my home country. I am proud to be here on pole position!”
Tassi had just one minute earlier gone to the top of the times himself, but after being knocked off the top he was unable to go any faster on the following lap.
Ferenc Ficza made it two Hungarians in the top three in third, continuing to display strong pace in the Zele Racing SEAT León.
Leopard Racing’s Jean-Karl Vernay was fourth fastest and the leading Volkswagen driver, ahead of the second Honda of Roberto Colciago in fifth.
Just over a second off the pace in sixth, having returned to the pits after just one Q2 run, was reigning champion Stefano Comini.
West Coast Racing’s Gianni Morbidelli was seventh, but the Italian got just one lap in Q2 after he went wide at Turn 4 on the following lap and beached his Volkswagen in the gravel.
Hugo Valente was the leading Craft-Bamboo Racing driver in eighth, ahead of team-mate Pepe Oriola in ninth and Giacomo Altoè in tenth, the latter gaining the reverse-grid pole position for race two.
Craft-Bamboo Racing’s James Nash was 11th, and DG Sport Compétition’s Mat’o Homola 12th. Meaning that both drivers missed out on the reverse grid, after qualifying more than a second off the pace in Q2.
Earlier in the session in Q1, the second GE-Force Alfa Romeo of Dušan Borković failed to make it past Q1, after the Serbian driver was almost one and a half seconds off the pace.
Pierre-Yves Corthals failed to get through either, despite slipstreaming Opel team-mate Homola during the session.
TCR Rookies Duncan Ende and Shota Abkhazava, the latter also the circuit owner, were 15th and 16th respectively.
|1||16||Davit Kajaia||GE-Force||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||0||1:40.693||0.000|
|2||9||Attila Tassi||M1RA||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||0||1:41.286||0.593|
|3||55||Ferenc Ficza||Zele Racing||SEAT León TCR||0||1:41.294||0.601|
|4||2||Jean-Karl Vernay||Leopard Racing Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||0||1:41.607||0.914|
|5||5||Roberto Colciago||M1RA||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||0||1:41.637||0.944|
|6||1||Stefano Comini||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||0||1:41.723||1.030|
|7||10||Gianni Morbidelli||West Coast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||0||1:41.755||1.062|
|8||7||Hugo Valente||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||0||1:41.997||1.304|
|9||74||Pepe Oriola||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||0||1:42.011||1.318|
|10||21||Giacomo Altoè||West Coast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||0||1:42.234||1.541|
|11||54||James Nash||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||0||1:42.337||1.644|
|12||70||Mat’o Homola||DG Sport Compétition||Opel Astra TCR||0||1:42.373||1.680|
|1||5||Roberto Colciago||M1RA||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||7||1:41.777||0.000|
|2||9||Attila Tassi||M1RA||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||8||1:41.900||0.123|
|3||16||Davit Kajaia||GE-Force||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||7||1:41.968||0.191|
|4||55||Ferenc Ficza||Zele Racing||SEAT León TCR||6||1:42.080||0.303|
|5||2||Jean-Karl Vernay||Leopard Racing Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||7||1:42.212||0.435|
|6||70||Mat’o Homola||DG Sport Compétition||Opel Astra TCR||7||1:42.463||0.686|
|7||21||Giacomo Altoè||West Coast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||8||1:42.515||0.738|
|8||10||Gianni Morbidelli||West Coast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||7||1:42.545||0.768|
|9||74||Pepe Oriola||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||9||1:42.642||0.865|
|10||54||James Nash||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||6||1:42.763||0.986|
|11||7||Hugo Valente||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||9||1:42.766||0.989|
|12||1||Stefano Comini||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||8||1:42.862||1.085|
|13||62||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||GE-Force||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||5||1:43.184||1.407|
|14||23||Pierre-Yves Corthals||DG Sport Compétition||Opel Astra TCR||9||1:43.367||1.590|
|15||18||Duncan Ende||Icarus Motorsports||SEAT León TCR||9||1:44.041||2.264|
|16||15||Shota Abkhazava||GE-Force||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||9||1:45.003||3.226|