Comtoyou Racing’s Nicolas Baert dominated the TCR Europe qualifying session at Zolder, as the Belgian used his home knowledge to take pole position by more than three tenths of a second.
Belgian drivers continued to prove that local knowledge is an asset at Zolder. Just after Gilles Magnus had topped the WTCR’s second practice session earlier in the morning, Baert went fastest in both the Q1 and Q2 segments of TCR Europe’s qualifying session.
In Q1, Baert had lapped in 1 minute 3.6459 seconds, before finding another three tenths of a second in the second qualifying segment.
It gives the 19-year-old son of Team Principal Jean-Michel Baert his maiden pole position in the series, in only his second start, and also the first for an Audi since Magnus took pole at Spa last year.
Mat’o Homola was second fastest in his BRC Racing Hyundai, almost four tenths back, having set his time early on in the red-flag interrupted Q2 and not improved when the session went green after a four-minute stoppage.
Moroccan Comtoyou duo Mehdi Bennani and Sami Taoufik were third and fourth fastest, underlining the pace of the Audis in Belgium, the duo separated by just three thousandths of a second.
Mike Halder was the leading Honda driver in fifth, the German gaining a place in the closing seconds of the session, ahead of the second BRC Hyundai of Dániel Nagy in sixth.
Julien Briché put his Peugeot 308 in seventh, ahead of the late-improving Target Competition Hyundai of Andreas Bäckman in eighth.
The top ten was completed by Profi Car Team Halder’s Michelle Halder and Brutal Fish Racing’s Daniel Lloyd, the latter claiming the reverse-grid pole position for race two on Sunday.
Halder had only improved her time in the final seconds of the session having been 11th beforehand, which demoted Brutal Fish Racing’s Martin Ryba to 11th, in a session which saw the Slovakian racer make it into Q2 for the first time.
Pepe Oriola followed his two team-mates and was 12th, the Spaniard unable to keep up with the pace and ending up nine tenths adrift of pole.
Team Clairet sport’s Teddy Clairet had been set for progressing to Q2 until the final seconds of the session, when Andreas Bäckman’s lap dropped the Frenchman to 13th.
Jessica Bäckman was 14th in her Target competition Hyundai, almost a second and a half off the Q1 pace, ahead of the second Clairet Peugeot of Jimmy Clairet in 15th.
The pole-sitter at the last event, John Filippi struggled for pace in qualifying and could only manage 16th in his Hyundai, 1.5 seconds off the pace and the slowest of the i30 N drivers.
Race one is scheduled to get underway at 15:30 CEST (14:30 BST).
|1||8||Nicolas BAERT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||3||1:36.155||0.000|
|2||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||6||1:36.534||0.379|
|3||250||Mehdi BENNANI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||6||1:36.540||0.385|
|4||25||Sami TAOUFIK||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||6||1:36.543||0.388|
|5||7||Mike HALDER||Profi Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||6||1:36.566||0.411|
|6||99||Dániel NAGY||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||6||1:36.570||0.415|
|7||24||Julien BRICHÉ||JSB Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||6||1:36.805||0.650|
|8||19||Andreas BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||6||1:36.814||0.659|
|9||53||Michelle HALDER||Profi Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||6||1:36.908||0.753|
|10||123||Daniel LLOYD||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||6||1:36.916||0.761|
|11||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||6||1:36.933||0.778|
|12||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||5||1:37.058||0.903|
|1||8||Nicolas BAERT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||4||1:36.459||0.000|
|2||250||Mehdi BENNANI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||6||1:36.787||0.328|
|3||25||Sami TAOUFIK||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||5||1:36.807||0.348|
|4||19||Andreas BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||1:36.915||0.456|
|5||99||Dániel NAGY||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||7||1:36.926||0.467|
|6||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||1:36.929||0.470|
|7||24||Julien BRICHÉ||JSB Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||7||1:37.023||0.564|
|8||53||Michelle HALDER||Profi Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||8||1:37.028||0.569|
|9||7||Mike HALDER||Profi Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||5||1:37.048||0.589|
|10||123||Daniel LLOYD||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||9||1:37.223||0.764|
|11||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||7||1:37.339||0.880|
|12||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||8||1:37.448||0.989|
|13||20||Teddy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||10||1:37.551||1.092|
|14||26||Jessica BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||1:37.919||1.460|
|15||21||Jimmy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||8||1:37.932||1.473|
|16||27||John FILIPPI||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||1:38.031||1.572|
|17||4||Florian BRICHÉ||JSB Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||10||1:38.382||1.923|
|18||66||Gilles COLOMBANI||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||8||1:38.593||2.134|
|19||81||Stéphane VENTAJA||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||11||1:38.710||2.251|
|20||6||Jean Laurent NAVARRO||JSB Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||10||1:38.713||2.254|