Jean-Karl Vernay scores Spa pole for TCR Europe opener

Jean-Karl Vernay scores Spa pole for TCR Europe opener

Photo: TCR Europe

Leopard Lukoil Team’s Jean-Karl Vernay secured pole position for the first TCR Europe race at Spa-Francorchamps by over half a second from Maxime Potty’s Volkswagen.

The 2017 TCR International Series champion continued his strong form by setting a 2:28.735 at the Belgian circuit, after he topped both practice sessions yesterday.

Vernay set the pace in Q1, before improving his time by a tenth to secure pole by 0.567s from Maxime Potty’s Volkswagen and the JSB Compèticion Peugeot, both of whom built on good practice pace.

Mikel Azcona, who won the opening race at Zandvoort three weeks ago, qualified fourth with a lap time 1.004s off pole, ahead of fellow CUPRA runner Stian Paulsen.

The fastest of the Hyundai’s was joint-championship leader Dušan Borković, who set a time of 2:30.079, a notable 1.344s adrift of Vernay’s pole time.

Next was Josh Files in the quickest Honda, ahead of Stefano Comini, who returns to the series this weekend after missing the Zandvoort round to switch from Subaru to Honda machinery.

The Hyundai’s of Kris Richard and Reece Barr rounded out the top ten, with the Irishman therefore securing reverse-grid pole for race two of the weekend.

An early red-flag halted the first qualifying segment as Viktor Davidovski crashed at Raidillon, forcing barrier repairs which delayed the session restart by fifteen minutes.

Vernay would then set the pace in Q1, before improving his time by a tenth to secure pole by 0.567s.

Notably Attila Tassi, who currently sits fourth in the championship standings, failed to reach Q2 with a time of 2:31.196 placing him 15th.

A lack of track time is likely to have had an impact for Tassi, who missed first practice yesterday due to travel complications.

The opening race gets underway at 17:20 CEST (16:20 BST.)

Q2 results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 69 Jean-Karl VERNAY Leopard Lukoil Team Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2 2:28.735 0.000
2 88 Maxime POTTY Comtoyou Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 4 2:29.302 0.567
3 4 Julien BRICHÉ JSB Compétition Peugeot 308 TCR 3 2:29.414 0.679
4 25 Mikel AZCONA PCR Sport CUPRA TCR 4 2:29.739 1.004
5 34 Stian PAULSEN Stian Paulsen Racing CUPRA TCR 4 2:29.999 1.264
6 62 Dušan BORKOVIĆ Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 4 2:30.079 1.344
7 99 Josh FILES Hell Energy Racing with KCMG Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 3 2:30.238 1.503
8 42 Stefano COMINI Autodis Racing by THX Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 4 2:30.780 2.045
9 94 Kris RICHARD Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 4 2:31.296 2.561
10 8 Reece BARR Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 4 2:31.610 2.875
11 999 Dániel NAGY M1RA Hyundai i30 N TCR 4 11:36.060 7.325
12 38 Danny KROES PCR Sport CUPRA TCR 4 11:36.070 7.335

Q1 results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 69 Jean-Karl VERNAY Leopard Lukoil Team Audi RS3 LMS TCR 8 2:28.882 0.000
2 88 Maxime POTTY Comtoyou Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 5 2:29.472 0.590
3 25 Mikel AZCONA PCR Sport CUPRA TCR 9 2:29.835 0.953
4 4 Julien BRICHÉ JSB Compétition Peugeot 308 TCR 7 2:30.098 1.216
5 62 Dušan BORKOVIĆ Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 8 2:30.348 1.466
6 99 Josh FILES Hell Energy Racing with KCMG Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 6 2:30.358 1.476
7 999 Dániel NAGY M1RA Hyundai i30 N TCR 8 2:30.616 1.734
8 42 Stefano COMINI Autodis Racing by THX Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 7 2:30.709 1.827
9 94 Kris RICHARD Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 2:30.716 1.834
10 38 Danny KROES PCR Sport CUPRA TCR 9 2:30.783 1.901
11 34 Stian PAULSEN Stian Paulsen Racing CUPRA TCR 6 2:30.886 2.004
12 8 Reece BARR Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 2:31.029 2.147
13 11 Jens Reno MØLLER Reno Racing Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 9 2:31.184 2.302
14 26 Francisco MORA M1RA Hyundai i30 N TCR 8 2:31.190 2.308
15 9 Attila TASSI Hell Energy Racing with KCMG Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 9 2:31.196 2.314
16 23 Francisco ABREU Sports & You Peugeot 308 TCR 6 2:32.146 3.264
17 13 Cedric PIRO Autodis Racing by Piro Sports Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 7 2:32.235 3.353
18 14 Loris CENCETTI Autodis Racing by Piro Sports Hyundai i30 N TCR 7 2:33.241 4.359
19 63 Giovanni ALTOÈ Pit Lane Competizioni Audi RS3 LMS TCR DSG 9 2:33.648 4.766
20 21 Marie BAUS-COPPENS JSB Compétition CUPRA TCR DSG 9 2:34.115 5.233
21 35 Munkong SATHIENTHIRAKUL Monlau Competición CUPRA TCR 7 2:34.788 5.906
22 17 Martin RYBA Brutal Fish Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 7 2:41.208 12.326
23 10 Viktor DAVIDOVSKY PSS Racing Team Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR 1 10:57.450 28.568