Luca Engstler claimed pole position in the final qualifying session of the 2018 TCR Middle East series in Bahrain, giving the German a 20-point advantage over title rival Giacomo Altoè for Saturday’s races.
The first to post a fast lap in the session was Pit Lane Competizioni Volkswagen racer Jordi Oriola in 1 minute 10.181 seconds, before team-mate Altoè went quicker with a time of 1:10.089.
The young Italian then went even quicker on his second lap, before Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s championship leader moved to the top of the times with a 1:09.168 after just over 15 minutes of the session, despite having had to battle with a broken driveshaft earlier in the day.
The German then went even quicker on his next lap to end the session 0.212 seconds clear of fellow German Kai Jordan and bag a five point bonus ahead of Saturday’s races.
The second Engstler Motorsport car of Florian Thoma secured third, leaving Altoè to settle for fourth and just two additional points for his title push.
Italian racer Veglia ended up in fifth with his time of 1:09.836, being the only other driver within a second of the pace in the eight-car field.
Spaniard Jordi Oriola was sixth, just over a second off the pace after completing the second fewest laps of the session.
Saturday’s first race takes place under floodlights at 19:00 local time (16:00 GMT) followed by race two at 21:00 local time (18:00 GMT).
|1||8||Luca ENGSTLER||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||11||1:09.056||–|
|2||13||Kai JORDAN||H&R Spezialfedern||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||14||1:09.268||0.212|
|3||39||Florian THOMA||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||15||1:09.451||0.395|
|4||10||Giacomo ALTOÈ||Pit Lane Competizioni 1||Audi RS3 LMS TCR DSG||9||1:09.573||0.517|
|5||44||Lorenzo VEGLIA||Pit Lane Competizioni 2||Volkswagen Golf GTi DSG||11||1:09.836||0.780|
|6||21||Jordi ORIOLA||Pit Lane Competizioni 2||Volkswagen Golf GTi DSG||8||1:10.181||1.125|
|7||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||15||1:11.064||2.008|
|8||7||Nasser AL ALAWI||Pit Lane Competizioni 1||Volkswagen Golf GTi DSG||9||1:11.362||2.306|
|9||55||Raed HIMMO||Pit Lane Competizioni 1||Volkswagen Golf GTi DSG||2||1:13.898||4.842|