Rob Huff has taken pole position for this afternoon’s qualifying race, having posted a lap time of 2 minutes 31.745 seconds around the Guia circuit.
Huff did well to find plenty of clean air around the busy track, and has grown in confidence behind the wheel of the unfamiliar MG over the course of the weekend so far. As a result, Ma Qing Hua – the second fastest driver in qualifying – barely managed to get within two seconds of the Brit’s lap time.
Nevertheless, Ma’s efforts would still be good enough to join Huff on the front row of the grid for race one, and crucially he emerges as the best-placed TCR China championship contender, with title rival Rodolfo Ávila down in fifth.
Splitting the pair of them, Filipe de Souza continued his fine form to go third quickest in his T.A. Motorsport Audi, while Jason Zhang will likely act as rear-gunner for team-mate Ma having qualified fourth.
Half a second back from Ávila in sixth position was the first of the Team NewFaster drivers, Henry Lee Junior. It was a mixed session for the independent Audi team, as reigning TCR China champion Huang Chu Han was unable to put to a lap together, while Sun Jun Long was also in strife after heading down one of the circuit’s many escape roads.
In seventh place, Sunny Wong made it three Teamwork Motorsport Lynk & Cos in the top seven, despite clattering into the barriers at the Melco Hairpin.
Andy Yan was next up for MG X-Power in eighth place, though he would arguably be too far back to provide any real assistance to Avila in his bid for the title.
The same can also be said of the fourth MG driver, Zhang Zhen Dong, who struggled to find a gap in the traffic and consequently only qualified sixteenth.
Independent underdog Lo Sze Ho continued to impress in his Maximum Racing Honda Civic, this time finishing up in ninth place on the leaderboard by the end of the session.
Eurico de Jesus was the final driver to claim a place in the top ten with a lap time of 2 minutes 38.094, highlighting the gulf in pace between the likes of Huff and the rest of the field.
Overall, qualifying was a relatively clean affair, with no red flag stoppages to speak of and only a few scares for the likes of Michael Wong and Kevin Lam Ka Chun who both had to use the escape road at Lisboa corner.
In other positive news, both Kenneth Look and Ng Kin Veng returned to the track in repaired cars, following heavy brushes with the wall in practice yesterday.
The qualifying race – which will decide the starting grid for Sunday’s official Macau Guia Race – gets underway later today at 15:15 CST (07:15 GMT).