Jack Young ensured that Honda drivers remained on top of the times by going fastest in the second TCR Europe practice session at Spa-Francorchamps, less than a tenth of a second ahead of Mikel Azcona.
Young had been sixth fastest in first practice and the Brit was holding the eighth best time for much of second practice until he upped his efforts in the closing minutes.
The Brutal Fish Racing driver improved his time twice in the final ten minutes of the session. First he set a lap of 2 minutes 30.630 seconds, before later on improving by six hundredths to end with a 2:30.624, just 0.046 seconds ahead of Azcona.
“We were fast in FP1, but we didn’t really have the car where we wanted to be,” said Young. “We made a few changes and basically got everything spot on for going into tomorrow.
“This isn’t qualifying, so we’ll see how it is tomorrow; anything can change in the heat of the moment.
“For today, very well done to the team; I don’t want to say too much about tomorrow in case I jinx myself!
“I don’t think things will be drastically different but I do think things will be a little different. In FP1 we didn’t put any new tyres on – that was the first time trying that, so we just practiced our strategy for qualifying and so on.
“When we tested here, new tyres didn’t make that much of a difference, but it seems they do now. I guess it’s just the way the track is on the day.”
It had in fact been Azcona’s Volcano Motorsport team-mate Evgenii Leonov who occupied the top time with just over ten minutes to go, before being demoted by his CUPRA team-mate.
Championship leader Franco Girolami was third quickest, exactly two tenths slower than Young, although still six tenths quicker than his pace-setting effort in first practice, such was the improvement in the track since the early afternoon session.
Isidro Callejas put his Brutal Fish Honda in fourth, ensuring a strong session for the Japanese marque.
Belgian local Nicolas Baert was fifth in the best of the Comtoyou Racing Audis, ahead of the fastest Hyundai Elantra of Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Sami Taoufik in sixth.
Felice Jelmini was directly behind his team-mate in seventh, whilst Leonov ultimately ended the session in eighth, having only improved his lap time by a tenth since his pace-setting effort half-way through the session.
The top ten was completed by the Peugeots of Jimmy and Teddy Clairet, the only other drivers within a second of the pace, although both Frenchmen briefly enjoyed a spell at the top of the times early in the session.
Friday’s track action sees qualifying at 11:30 BST (12:30 CEST) followed by race one at 17:30 BST (18:30 CEST).
|1||62||Jack YOUNG||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||9||2:30.624||–|
|2||96||Mikel AZCONA||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||9||2:30.670||0.046|
|3||72||Franco GIROLAMI||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||9||2:30.824||0.200|
|4||26||Isidro CALLEJAS||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||8||2:31.054||0.430|
|5||8||Nicolas BAERT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||9||2:31.322||0.698|
|6||25||Sami TAOUFIK||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||10||2:31.364||0.740|
|7||44||Felice JELMINI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||10||2:31.488||0.864|
|8||16||Evgenii LEONOV||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||10||2:31.489||0.865|
|9||21||Jimmy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||9||2:31.542||0.918|
|10||20||Teddy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||9||2:31.573||0.949|
|11||14||Klim GAVRILOV||VRC-Team||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||2:31.653||1.029|
|12||250||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||10||2:32.072||1.448|
|13||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||Janík Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||2:32.308||1.684|
|14||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||9||2:32.336||1.712|
|15||32||Tom CORONEL||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||9||2:32.356||1.732|
|16||10||Niels LANGEVELD||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||10||2:32.746||2.122|
|17||162||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||2:32.841||2.217|
|18||24||Jáchym GALÁŠ||Janík Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||2:33.221||2.597|
|19||77||Sylvain PUSSIER||Team Clairet Sport||CUPRA TCR||10||2:33.640||3.016|
|20||66||Gilles COLOMBANI||Team Clairet Sport||CUPRA TCR||11||2:35.609||4.985|