Target Competition’s Andreas Bäckman secured his first-ever pole position in qualifying for the TCR Europe series at Oschersleben, beating Brutal Fish Racing’s Dan Lloyd to the top time by a comfortable margin of more than three tenths of a second.
The field of 28 cars were able to enter a dry track on Saturday morning for their qualifying sessions. And they immediately got to action, fighting for that thousandth of a second that would hopefully make the difference.
Seeing the likes of Martin Ryba in the gravel, Luca Filippi spin or Julien Briché fighting hard on the limit, causing short periods of yellow flags, proves that the BoP created a balanced nevertheless tight field.
Despite the traffic on the tight 2.3-mile track, Gilles Magnus (Audi RS 3 LMS) was the first to break the 1:30 with 1:30.901, with the times continuously falling down until Andreas Bäckman set a new benchmark 1:30.078 in front of Nelson Panciatici and Gianni Morbidelli.
In the second qualifying session Andreas Bäckmann again topped the timing list in front of Daniel Lloyd and Santiago Urrutia.
“It was really a great result and a great pace, I didn’t expect to be that fast, but everything really came nicely together. I want to thank the team for their great work and everyone who is supporting me,” said Bäckman. “There is not much more I could say, my laps were really good.
“It will be a different story in the race, as I am surrounded by very tough competitors, but I hope to take a good start and stay in front. I like the track very much and I think we know how to be nice with the tyres, we’ll see.”
Santiago Urrutia who placed his Audi RS 3 LMS in third said: “It has been a good qualifying, where we have been improving lap after lap, and eventually we could be consistent in aligning good sectors, which I knew was going to be the key to a good result.
“We worked in the right direction with the team and we are also the fastest among the Audi cars, which is a satisfaction, and I hope we can have a trouble-free race.”
Blessing in disguise for Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan and his CUPRA TCR experienced technical difficulties, giving him and his Wolf-Power Racing team an extra intensive time.
“Q1 went really well. When I started my first lap, I made a mistake but fortunately I continued to finish the lap, lying tenths. When I started the next lap a hub broke coming into turn one and pull the drive shaft out so I had to retire.
“When I pulled my car over my team informed me that I am in P10. I was frustrated that everybody else would go out and I would be dropped down to P11 or P12, out of the reverse grid.
“When I got the car back, the team informed me, that I stayed in P10 because two other cars suffered from problems as well. So it was a bit of luck within all the bad luck.”
Also trouble shooted were Tom Coronel who had a problem with the power train, with Gianni Morbidelli (radiator) and Luca Engstler (steering rack) not even able to go out on track to post a valid lap time.
Repair time is tight as the first race is scheduled for 13.40 CEST [12.40 BST].
|1||19||Andreas BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||5||1:30.017||0.000|
|2||123||Daniel LLOYD||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||5||1:30.350||0.333|
|3||55||Santiago URRUTIA||Team WRT||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||5||1:30.407||0.390|
|4||12||Nelson PANCIATICI||M Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||5||1:30.503||0.486|
|5||16||Gilles MAGNUS||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||4||1:30.654||0.637|
|6||26||Jessica BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||6||1:30.655||0.638|
|7||58||Dominik BAUMANN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||5||1:30.702||0.685|
|8||50||Tom CORONEL||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||4||1:30.784||0.767|
|9||9||Josh FILES||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||5||1:31.117||1.100|
|10||5||Alex MORGAN||Wolf-Power Racing||CUPRA TCR||2||1:31.716||1.699|
|11||8||Luca ENGSTLER||M1RA Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||2||No time||N/A|
|12||45||Gianni MORBIDELLI||WestCoast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||2||No time||N/A|
|1||19||Andreas BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||1:30.078||0.000|
|2||12||Nelson PANCIATICI||M Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||1:30.674||0.596|
|3||45||Gianni MORBIDELLI||WestCoast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||8||1:30.680||0.602|
|4||123||Daniel LLOYD||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||8||1:30.693||0.615|
|5||58||Dominik BAUMANN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||1:30.720||0.642|
|6||16||Gilles MAGNUS||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||9||1:30.770||0.692|
|7||5||Alex MORGAN||Wolf-Power Racing||CUPRA TCR||9||1:30.820||0.742|
|8||55||Santiago URRUTIA||Team WRT||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||8||1:30.867||0.789|
|9||50||Tom CORONEL||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||8||1:30.873||0.795|
|10||9||Josh FILES||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||1:30.882||0.804|
|11||8||Luca ENGSTLER||M1RA Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||7||1:31.013||0.935|
|12||26||Jessica BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||1:31.084||1.006|
|13||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||1:31.186||1.108|
|14||30||Luca FILIPPI||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||1:31.219||1.141|
|15||25||Natan BIHEL||M Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||1:31.424||1.346|
|16||7||Aurélien COMTE||DG Sport Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||9||1:31.543||1.465|
|17||10||Viktor DAVIDOVSKY||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||10||1:31.690||1.612|
|18||3||Davit KAJAIA||PCR Sport with Georgia||CUPRA TCR||11||1:31.702||1.624|
|19||88||Maxime POTTY||Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||8||1:31.728||1.650|
|20||112||Jimmy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||10||1:31.788||1.710|
|21||67||Zsolt Dávid SZABÓ||M1RA Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||1:31.819||1.741|
|22||24||Julien BRICHÉ||JSB Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||10||1:31.985||1.907|
|23||46||Olli KANGAS||WestCoast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||8||1:32.060||1.982|
|24||111||Teddy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||10||1:32.111||2.033|
|25||96||Abdulla Ali AL-KHELAIFI||QMMF Racing by PCR Sport||CUPRA TCR||11||1:32.571||2.493|
|26||23||Tamás TENKE||Zengő Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||10||1:32.873||2.795|
|27||77||Sylvain PUSSIER||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||10||1:33.277||3.199|
|28||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||10||1:33.527||3.449|