Klim Gavrilov cut a frustrated figure after qualifying in tenth for the opening TCR Europe race at Barcelona, as the Russian felt he could have been faster on his first outing in the new CUPRA Leon Competición.
Gavrilov has switched to CUPRA machinery with Volcano Motorsport for this weekend’s season finale, having previously raced an Audi RS3 LMS in the series.
The Russian may have secured the reverse-grid pole position for Sunday’s second race, but he felt like he could have achieved more than tenth, almost a second off the pace of pole-sitter and team-mate Mikel Azcona.
“The car is nice; I haven’t got used to it 100% but it’s fast and the team were great, so I’m very happy with that,” said Gavrilov to TouringCars.Net.
“I’m not actually happy with the qualifying because I made some mistakes. I’m just not happy with how I drove the car.”
Gavrilov is evaluating the car ahead of potentially racing a CUPRA in next year’s TCR Europe season, with the 21-year-old believing that the car will be better at overtaking than his previous steed.
“I would say everything is possible. We just wanted to try the new car and Volcano Motorsport gave us this car and opportunity, so we tried it.
“I don’t know what will happen tomorrow [in race two], but I will do my best. I’m trying not to think about tomorrow, I’m just trying to think about today.
“I will try to make progress because I think with this car it should be easier to overtake. It just feels faster [than the Audi].”
The multiple TCR Russia race winner added that he had already received some advice from long-time CUPRA racer Azcona, who is one of Gavrilov’s team-mates for the weekend.
“He’s done some racing tweaks that I didn’t know before. It’s still a new car for me, so I have a lot to learn before I will be really fast, but I am working on it.”
Race one is scheduled to get underway at 15:40 CEST (14:40 BST).