WestCoast Racing’s Gianni Morbidelli was dominant in qualifying for the TCR International Series at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben for the seventh race of the season, taking pole position in emphatic fashion with a blistering lap time of a 1:31.426 in glorious sunshine.
The Italian’s closest competitor in both sessions was the Leopard Racing Golf GTi TCR of the returning Jaap van Lagen, with the Dutchman just 0.243 seconds off the top time in the Q2 top-twelve shoot out.
Daniel Lloyd led the Caft-Bamboo Lukoil contingent in third, ahead of Leopard Racing’s Rob Huff, making it three Volkswagens in the top five.
Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Pepe Oriola called time on his efforts in Q2 with two minutes remaining, 0.408 seconds off the pace in fourth.
Giacomo Altoè ensured it was an all-round strong session for the WestCoast team, putting his Golf in sixth and within half a second of his vastly more experienced team-mate.
James Nash was the third of the Craft-Bamboo SEATs in seventh, ahead of M1RA’s lead car of Roberto Colciago in eighth, who failed to add any points to his tally after missing out on the top five.
The third Leopard Volkswagen of Jean-Karl Vernay and the Opel of DG Sport Compétition’s Mat’o Homola completed the top ten, and the latter will thus line up on pole position for Sunday’s reverse-grid second race.
Defending champion Stefano Comini’s Audi RS3 LMS appeared very unsettled, as the Swiss driver could only go 18th fastest in Q1, whilst current points leader Attila Tassi was another high profile casualty after the first session, as the young Hungarian was 13th in his M1RA Honda Civic.
Initial practice pace setter Luca Engstler was running in the top ten for the majority of Q2, before he went straight off track on the run into turn one, with the left rear of his Golf GTi TCR suffering damage, after glancing the barrier.
Q1 was not without dramas, as Jens Reno Møller caused a red flag stoppage with 12 minutes and 10 seconds remaining, going off at the inside of turn 7, showering the track with gravel.
Møller also had another off-track excursion earlier in the session, having almost beached his Honda on the inside of turn three, along with having a left front puncture that curtailed his running in the 20-minute session.
Race one gets underway at 1230 local time tomorrow (Sunday, July 9th)
|1||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||West Coast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||5||1:31.426||0.000|
|2||14||Jaap VAN LAGEN||Leopard Racing Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||5||1:31.669||0.243|
|3||17||Daniel LLOYD||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||5||1:31.714||0.288|
|4||3||Rob HUFF||Leopard Racing Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||5||1:31.821||0.395|
|5||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||4||1:31.834||0.408|
|6||21||Giacomo ALTOÈ||West Coast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||5||1:31.883||0.457|
|7||54||James NASH||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||5||1:31.954||0.528|
|8||5||Roberto COLCIAGO||M1RA||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||5||1:32.130||0.704|
|9||2||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Leopard Racing Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||5||1:32.146||0.720|
|10||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||DG Sport Compétition||Opel Astra TCR||5||1:32.191||0.765|
|11||8||Luca ENGSTLER||Junior Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||5||1:32.195||0.769|
|12||34||Stian PAULSEN||Stian Paulsen Racing||SEAT León TCR||5||1:32.773||1.347|
|1||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||West Coast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||9||1:31.421||0.000|
|2||14||Jaap VAN LAGEN||Leopard Racing Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||8||1:31.553||0.132|
|3||8||Luca ENGSTLER||Junior Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||5||1:32.024||0.603|
|4||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||8||1:32.069||0.648|
|5||17||Daniel LLOYD||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||6||1:32.228||0.807|
|6||2||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Leopard Racing Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||9||1:32.252||0.831|
|7||21||Giacomo ALTOÈ||West Coast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||1:32.304||0.883|
|8||54||James NASH||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||10||1:32.307||0.886|
|9||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||DG Sport Compétition||Opel Astra TCR||10||1:32.322||0.901|
|10||5||Roberto COLCIAGO||M1RA||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||11||1:32.468||1.047|
|11||3||Rob HUFF||Leopard Racing Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||1:32.561||1.140|
|12||34||Stian PAULSEN||Stian Paulsen Racing||SEAT León TCR||10||1:32.651||1.230|
|13||9||Attila TASSI||M1RA||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||11||1:32.722||1.301|
|14||62||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||GE-Force||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||9||1:32.834||1.413|
|15||16||Davit KAJAIA||GE-Force||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||8||1:33.104||1.683|
|16||6||Frédéric VERVISCH||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||9||1:33.207||1.786|
|17||28||Aurélien PANIS||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||10||1:33.328||1.907|
|18||1||Stefano COMINI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||9||1:33.397||1.976|
|19||55||Ferenc FICZA||Zengő Motorsport||KIA Cee’d TCR||11||1:33.584||2.163|
|20||38||Danny KROES||Ferry Monster Autosport||SEAT León TCR||9||1:33.704||2.283|
|21||11||Jens Reno MØLLER||Reno Racing||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||8||1:34.114||2.693|
|22||66||Grégoire DEMOUSTIER||DG Sport Compétition||Opel Astra TCR||11||1:34.164||2.743|
|23||18||Duncan ENDE||Icarus Motorsports||SEAT León TCR||9||1:34.605||3.184|