John Filippi admitted he was surprised to have qualified his CUPRA on pole position for the opening TCR Europe race at Monza, as the Sébastien Loeb Racing driver mastered the wet conditions on Saturday morning.
Filippi secured the second TCR Europe pole of his career in Italy, dominating the second part of the session to end up almost a second clear of anyone else.
The Corsican had gone out with slick rubber, despite the track being wetter than in the first part of the session, and held the lap together to post a time of 2 minutes 3.731 seconds.
“When the team told me that I did the pole position I asked them to repeat it twice because I didn’t believe it,” said Filippi.
“When they told me the gap I was just impressed, because for me the lap was good but not perfect.
“You know, it is very difficult conditions, with slicks on the wet track, so it’s very difficult to find the grip.
“Between Q1 and Q2 the track was completely different, I think like four seconds between Q1 and Q2, so honestly I know that we were faster yesterday, but today I think the team did a fantastic job in these conditions – the car was amazing.
“Of course, I think some of it was luck, as you always need some luck in motorsport, but I think it was the right setup in the right conditions.”
Filippi has yet to win a race this year, with his last – and only – touring car victory coming in the 2020 TCR Europe finale.