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.
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.
|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|
|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|