Franco Girolami puts his Audi on pole in TCR Europe qualifying at Spa

Comtoyou Racing’s Franco Girolami qualified his Audi on pole position for the opening TCR Europe race at Spa-Francorchamps, beating Volcano Motorsport’s Klim Gavrilov by three tenths of a second.

Girolami posted the fastest lap of the weekend thus far in the all-important Q2 session, lapping the Belgian circuit in 2 minutes 30.110 seconds, giving him a first pole of the year and extending his championship lead to 23 points over Tom Coronel.

The Argentine is well-placed for victory later in the day – Audi cars have historically been strong at Spa, with victories in 2018 for Jean-Karl Vernay and 2019 for Gilles Magnus, before recent years saw domination from CUPRA and Mikel Azcona.

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Due to the long lap, drivers effectively only completed one flying lap, taking into account the time taken to complete an out and in lap ruling out tyre swapping for two fast runs. Thus Girolami’s first time, posted on his second lap, stood throughout Q2.

Gavrilov put his CUPRA in second, the Russian having crept up the timesheets in second practice on Friday, after being outside the top ten earlier in the day. It marks Gavrilov’s first-ever race one front-row qualifying performance in the series.

Isidro Callejas was directly behind his team-mate in third, just over half a second off the pace, the Spaniard ahead of the best-ranked Hyundai of Nicola Baldan in fourth.

Italian Felice Jelmini followed directly behind his compatriot and Target Competition team-mate in fifth, with Josh Files completing the trio of Target Hyundai Elantras in sixth.

Northern Irishman Jack Young, who had been quickest in Friday’s second practice session, was the best-placed Honda driver in seventh, just 0.019 seconds ahead of the eighth-placed Hyundai Elantra of Janík Motorsport’s Mat’o Homola.

The top ten was completed by first practice pace-setter Coronel in his Audi and Janík’s Jáchym Galáš, thus giving the pair a front row start for the reverse-grid second race, with Galáš on pole position.

Sébastien Loeb Racing’s John Filippi just missed out on the reverse-grid pole and was 11th, almost a second and a half off the pace, with Brutal Fish Racing’s Pepe Oriola in 12th.

Just missing out on progressing beyond Q1 was Mike Halder, the German two tenths of a second shy of continuing into Q2, leaving him in 13th.

Rookie Marco Butti was 14th quickest on his début in the series with Élite Motorsport by Comtoyou Racing, ahead of stable-mate Viktor Davidovski in 15th.

Whilst all three of the RC2 Junior Team entries posted times, they will occupy the tenth and 11th rows of the grid of 22 cars. Rubén Fernández was just 19th in his new-spec Audi as the best of the trio.

Race one is scheduled to get underway at 15:00 CEST (14:00 BST) and will be live-streamed on YouTube.

Q2 results

POS NO NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 72 Franco GIROLAMI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 3 2:30.110
2 14 Klim GAVRILOV Volcano Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 3 2:30.441 0.331
3 26 Isidro CALLEJAS Volcano Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 3 2:30.630 0.520
4 8 Nicola BALDAN Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR 4 2:30.659 0.549
5 44 Felice JELMINI Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR 4 2:30.749 0.639
6 99 Josh FILES Target Motorsport Hyundai Elantra N TCR 4 2:30.854 0.744
7 62 Jack YOUNG Halder Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 4 2:30.874 0.764
8 70 Mat’o HOMOLA Janík Motorsport Hyundai Elantra N TCR 4 2:30.983 0.783
9 33 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 3 2:31.215 1.105
10 24 Jáchym GALÁŠ Janík Motorsport Hyundai Elantra N TCR 4 2:31.391 1.281
11 27 John FILIPPI Sébastien Loeb Racing – Bardahl Team CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 3 2:31.604 1.494
12 74 Pepe ORIOLA Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 4 2:32.539 2.429

Q1 results

POS NO NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 44 Felice JELMINI Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR 6 2:30.629
2 62 Jack YOUNG Halder Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 6 2:30.706 0.077
3 8 Nicola BALDAN Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR 7 2:30.711 0.082
4 26 Isidro CALLEJAS Volcano Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 7 2:30.938 0.309
5 99 Josh FILES Target Motorsport Hyundai Elantra N TCR 8 2:30.940 0.311
6 14 Klim GAVRILOV Volcano Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 6 2:30.992 0.363
7 33 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 4 2:31.002 0.373
8 72 Franco GIROLAMI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 5 2:31.104 0.475
9 24 Jáchym GALÁŠ Janík Motorsport Hyundai Elantra N TCR 7 2:31.278 0.649
10 74 Pepe ORIOLA Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 6 2:31.346 0.717
11 27 John FILIPPI Sébastien Loeb Racing – Bardahl Team CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 8 2:31.355 0.726
12 70 Mat’o HOMOLA Janík Motorsport Hyundai Elantra N TCR 7 2:31.375 0.746
13 7 Mike HALDER Halder Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 6 2:31.571 0.942
14 111 Marco BUTTI Élite Motorsport by Comtoyou Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 8 2:31.854 1.225
15 110 Viktor DAVIDOVSKI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 7 2:32.041 1.412
16 16 Evgenii LEONOV Volcano Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 8 2:32.391 1.762
17 3 Giacomo GHERMANDI Lema Racing CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 8 2:32.572 1.943
18 53 Michelle HALDER Halder Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 7 2:32.580 1.951
19 12 Rubén FERNÁNDEZ Gil RC2 Junior Team Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 8 2:33.048 2.419
20 19 Felipe FERNÁNDEZ Gil RC2 Junior Team CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 7 2:33.417 2.788
21 17 Martin RYBA Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 8 2:33.746 3.117
22 37 Sergio LÓPEZ RC2 Junior Team CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 8 2:33.850 3.221
23 46 Caren BURTON Burton Racing Peugeot 308 TCR 0 Withdrawn N/A
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