Reigning TCR Asia Series champion Kantadhee Kusiri dominated qualifying on his return in South Korea, beating Luca Engstler to pole by over 1.5 seconds at the Korea International Circuit.
Kusiri is returning to TCR Asia as a guest entry this weekend, in a SEAT León run by Douglas Khoo’s Viper Niza Racing outfit.
The Thai driver was utterly dominant in the rain at Yeongam, going almost three seconds clear in first qualifying before cementing his form with pole in Q2, completely clear of title challenger Engstler.
Engstler’s team-mate Diego Moran was originally third, a further second back, ahead of points leader Mitchell Cheah, who was fourth fastest behind his two team-mates. However Moran later had both of his Q2 lap times disallowed for exceeding track limits, dropping the Ecuadorian racer to 11th.
Chariya Nuya, a TCR Thailand regular, is competing as a guest entry ineligible for points this weekend, with the event not counting towards TCR Thailand. He was fourth quickest but over six seconds adrift in the leading Honda.
Hyundai driver Charlie Kang was the best of the TCR Korea contingent, which features six cars for its inaugural weekend, in fifth.
Elegant Racing’s Kelvin Wong was sixth, ahead of the second-best TCR Korea driver of Andrew Kim in seventh.
The second Elegant Racing SEAT of Alex Liu Lic Ka and Maximum Motorsport title contender Lo Sze Ho were eighth and ninth, with TCR Korea’s Kang DongWoo in tenth, giving the Hyundai driver the reverse-grid pole position for race two on Sunday after Moran had his times removed.
|1||1||Kantadhee KUSIRI||Viper Niza Racing||SEAT León TCR||3||2:42.539||0.000|
|2||8||Luca ENGSTLER||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||4||2:44.061||1.522|
|3||29||Mitchell CHEAH Min Jie||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||3||2:47.904||5.365|
|4||15||Chariya NUYA||Billionaire Boy Racing (BBR)||Honda Civic TCR 2017||3||2:48.863||6.324|
|5||87||Charlie KANG Byung Hui||Indigo Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||3||2:49.179||6.640|
|6||33||Kelvin WONG Kiang Kuan||Elegant Racing Team||SEAT León TCR SEQ V2||3||2:49.184||6.645|
|7||20||Andrew KIM||E-Rain Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||4||2:49.378||6.839|
|8||3||Alex LIU Lic Ka||Elegant Racing Team||SEAT León TCR SEQ V2||3||2:51.281||8.742|
|9||28||LO Sze Ho||Maximum Racing||Honda Civic TCR 2016||2||2:53.091||10.552|
|10||103||KANG DongWoo||KMSA Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||3||2:53.263||10.724|
|11||32||Diego MORAN||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||3||Disallowed||N/A|
|12||97||CHO Hoon Hyun||Indigo Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||2||No time||N/A|
|1||1||Kantadhee KUSIRI||Viper Niza Racing||SEAT León TCR||4||2:42.125||0.000|
|2||8||Luca ENGSTLER||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||4||2:45.008||2.883|
|3||29||Mitchell CHEAH Min Jie||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||4||2:45.445||3.320|
|4||28||LO Sze Ho||Maximum Racing||Honda Civic TCR 2016||5||2:46.301||4.176|
|5||32||Diego MORAN||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||5||2:46.390||4.265|
|6||15||Chariya NUYA||Billionaire Boy Racing (BBR)||Honda Civic TCR 2017||5||2:46.437||4.312|
|7||33||Kelvin WONG Kiang Kuan||Elegant Racing Team||SEAT León TCR SEQ V2||6||2:47.242||5.117|
|8||3||Alex LIU Lic Ka||Elegant Racing Team||SEAT León TCR SEQ V2||6||2:47.843||5.718|
|9||87||Charlie KANG Byung Hui||Indigo Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||2||2:48.086||5.961|
|10||97||CHO Hoon Hyun||Indigo Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||3||2:50.274||8.149|
|11||20||Andrew KIM||E-Rain Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||5||2:50.156||8.031|
|12||103||KANG DongWoo||KMSA Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||6||2:50.677||8.552|
|13||101||KIM Byoung Hyun||DreamRacer Racing Team||Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR||4||2:51.972||9.847|
|14||66||Nattachak HANJITKASEM||TBN MK ihear Racing Team||Honda Civic TCR 2017||6||2:52.749||10.624|
|15||65||Douglas KHOO Kok Hui||Viper Niza Racing||SEAT León TCR SEQ V3||6||2:53.150||11.025|
|16||16||LEE Do Hyeon||E-Rain Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||6||2:54.226||12.101|
|17||5||Clement TONG Yat Him||Maximum Racing||Honda Civic TCR 2017||0||No time||N/A|
|18||11||Alex HUI Ka Tai||Teamwork BrandNew Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||0||No time||N/A|