Nicolas Baert half a second clear in final Zolder practice

Comtoyou Racing’s Nicolas Baert ended a red-flag interrupted final TCR Europe practice session at Zolder half a second clear at the top of the timesheets.

The Belgian clocked a best time of 1:36.828 around the 2.49-mile circuit after a seven-minute stoppage for Florian Briché’s stranded Peugeot 308 TCR, the JSB Competition racer hitting the tyre stack at the Kleine chicane and then failing to make it back to the pits.

Baert’s pace when the session resumed put him a clear half-second ahead of erstwhile session leader Mat’o Homola (BRC Racing), with Baert’s Comtoyou team-mate Sami Taoufik completing a strong session for the outfit in third.

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Teddy Clairet enjoyed an improved run to fifth in the leading Peugeot, just over a tenth of a second shy of Dániel Nagy, the Hungarian ensuring an Audi-Hyundai top-four lockout having run as high as second spot before the interruption.

Medhi Bennani made it all three Comtoyou Audi’s in the top ten with seventh, just behind Pepe Oriola’s Brutal Fish-run Honda Civic Type R.

Oriola’s team mate’s Martin Ryba and championship leader Daniel Lloyd were classified eighth and ninth respectively in the sister Hondas.

The top ten – rounded by Paul Ricard race winner Mike Halder (Profi Car Team Halder) – were covered by a little over a second, with times expected to close up for qualifying at 11:10 CET tomorrow.

Other notable results included 13th for Andreas Backman, with FP1 pace-setter John Filippi just behind in 14th, 0.012 seconds in turn ahead of Jessica Backman.

TCR Europe returns to Zolder for qualifying and the opening race tomorrow [12 September].

Session results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 8 Nicolas BAERT Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 6 1:36.828 0.000
2 70 Mat’o HOMOLA BRC Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 1:37.354 0.526
3 25 Sami TAOUFIK Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 10 1:37.440 0.612
4 99 Dániel NAGY BRC Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 1:37.475 0.647
5 20 Teddy CLAIRET Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308 TCR 9 1:37.580 0.752
6 74 Pepe ORIOLA Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 10 1:37.605 0.777
7 250 Mehdi BENNANI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 10 1:37.649 0.821
8 17 Martin RYBA Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 8 1:37.708 0.880
9 123 Daniel LLOYD Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 10 1:37.849 1.021
10 7 Mike HALDER Profi Car Team Halder Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 10 1:37.919 1.091
11 21 Jimmy CLAIRET Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308 TCR 10 1:37.935 1.107
12 24 Julien BRICHÉ JSB Compétition Peugeot 308 TCR 8 1:37.940 1.112
13 19 Andreas BÄCKMAN Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 10 1:38.066 1.238
14 53 Michelle HALDER Profi Car Team Halder Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 10 1:38.518 1.690
15 27 John FILIPPI Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 1:38.778 1.950
16 26 Jessica BÄCKMAN Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 1:38.790 1.962
17 6 Jean Laurent NAVARRO JSB Compétition Peugeot 308 TCR 8 1:39.306 2.478
18 66 Gilles COLOMBANI Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308 TCR 8 1:39.433 2.605
19 81 Stéphane VENTAJA Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308 TCR 10 1:40.183 3.355
20 4 Florian BRICHÉ JSB Compétition Peugeot 308 TCR 2 1:40.319 3.491
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