Yann Ehrlacher insists he had nothing left after qualifying in second in the opening FIA World Touring Car Cup event of the year at Zolder, with the Cyan Racing driver just 0.031 seconds behind pole-sitter Nathanaël Berthon.
Ehrlacher had trailed his team-mates in the free practice sessions leading up to qualifying, but on Saturday afternoon the 24-year-old Frenchman emerged as the fastest.
Ehrlacher topped Q1 by a margin of just over a tenth from team-mate Thed Björk, and then made it into Q3 along with three of his four team-mates.
In the one-lap shootout that is Q3, Ehrlacher was able to claim bragging rights amongst the Lynk & Co drivers by taking second, even though he admitted afterwards that he had not produced a perfect lap.
“It was an exciting qualifying – I could manage to be in Q3 but unfortunately in Turn 1 I had a big oversteer and I lost more than half a second,” said Ehrlacher.
“I don’t think I was capable to do pole position but at least the first row was in my hands. It was my mistake.”
Ehrlacher admitted that he was relieved to be racing again, after the long delay to the start of the season caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“After this long time with no racing I’m quite happy to be on the front row and score some qualifying points.
“I did a lap on the edge, there was nothing left. It would have been difficult to find more and we will fight again tomorrow.”
Ehrlacher will line up in second for race two on Sunday, whilst race one’s partial reversed grid will see him line up in ninth.