M1RA’s Attila Tassi remains optimistic he can continue to fight Jean-Karl Vernay for the TCR International Series title until the final round at Dubai Autodrome today, where the Hungarian will start from reverse grid pole position.
Crucially, however, Vernay’s Volkswagen Golf GTi will start from the front row alongside team-mate Gordon Shedden for the weekend’s opening contest, whilst Tassi is tenth.
M1RA’s Honda package struggled during qualifying after gremlins on Tassi’s car during practice.
By virtue of scoring an additional four championship points during qualifying on Saturday, Vernay needs only to outscore Tassi to take his maiden crown – and possibly the last TCR title for a few years as the FIA and WSC remain in negotiation over the possibility of leasing TCR’s regulations to a new tin-top international series’ from 2018.
“We had a difficult morning, but things went better in Qualifying,” said Tassi.
“I had a good pace in Q1 and could have done better but when I was told on the radio that P10 was secure, I lift off.
“It will be crucial to start from pole in Race 2 and I hope we can keep the title battle alive until the very end!”
The opening race at Dubai Autodrome will get underway at 07:20 GMT as per an amended timetable.