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Tom Coronel tops the times in drying second practice in Pau

Comtoyou Racing’s Tom Coronel ended Friday with the fastest TCR Europe practice lap time of all on the streets of Pau, with the Comtoyou Racing driver benefitting from a drying track.

After rain affected first practice, where his team-mate Kobe Pauwels had been quickest, the circuit was much drier in Free Practice 2, who like FP1 had been delayed by over two hours.

Although the early lap times were set on a still damp circuit, by the end of the half-hour session the sun broke through, quickly drying the asphalt.

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As a result, the Dutchman posted the fastest lap of the day with just over two minutes to go, lapping in 1 minute 23.259 seconds to edge out MA:GP’s Viktor Andersson by over half a second.

Andersson and Coronel had been swapping times on a regular basis prior to that point, although the young Swede was eventually 0.595 seconds adrift in his Lynk & Co 03 TCR.

“The team told me that I was in a good swing; I believe all the time we were towards the top of the list and a few times Andersson was also there,” said Coronel.

“In the end, I just put some fresh tyres on the front and the time was there. It was good grip, good balance with the car and very good traction, which is not normal for my car so I was surprised but very happy with that.

“Of course, I know this track very well – I think I’ve been here more than any other TCR driver since I was here for the WTCC and WTCR and now TCR Europe.

“I think it’s also a big advantage that I like street circuits, especially like this in mixed conditions. But you know that this is the kind of track where if you make one mistake you have a handicap for the rest of your weekend, so the speed is there and the focus now is not to make any mistakes.”

Pauwels was third fastest, having also briefly spent some time at the top of the timesheets, albeit almost a second and a half off Coronel’s pace in his Audi.

Dušan Borković was the best of the Hyundai Elantra drivers in fourth, ahead of local racer Eric Cayrolle’s Audi in fifth.

Isaac smith was Volcano Motorsport’s fastest driver in sixth, ahead of Comtoyou Racing’s John Filippi in seventh and his team-mate Viktor Davidovski in eighth.

Only 11 drivers took part in the session – local entrant Christian Philippon failed to post a time.

Prior to the session, the Stewards announced that the Volkswagen Golf GTi of Michel Leal did not conform to the technical regulations, eliminating the Frenchman from the rest of the event.

They also have allowed Julien Nougaret and Dorian Duthil to share the CUPRA TCR they have entered, as they share the car in the local French championship.

As such, Nougaret will compete in race one, whilst Duthil will compete in race two. The decision means neither driver will score points in the series this weekend.

Qualifying is scheduled to get underway at 11:29 CEST on Saturday (10:29 BST) followed by race one at 18:10 CEST (17:10 BST).

Session results

1 34 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 13 1:23.259
2 10 Viktor ANDERSSON MA:GP Lynk & Co 03 TCR 14 1:23.854 0.595
3 22 Kobe PAUWELS Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 16 1:24.727 1.468
4 62 Dušan BORKOVIĆ Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR 15 1:24.870 1.611
5 64 Eric CAYROLLE Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 18 1:25.271 2.012
6 23 Isaac SMITH Volcano Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 16 1:25.440 2.181
7 27 John FILIPPI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 15 1:25.572 2.313
8 11 Viktor DAVIDOVSKI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 13 1:26.380 3.121
9 39 Lewis BROWN Volcano Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 15 1:26.601 3.342
10 41 Dorian DUTHIL Cap Racing by CDRS CUPRA TCR 16 1:31.104 7.845
11 66 Olivier LÓPEZ Team CDRS CUPRA TCR 12 1:38.536 15.277
12 17 Christian PHILIPPON Espace Racing with CDRS Audi RS3 LMS TCR 0 No time N/A
13 8 Nicola BALDAN Aggressive Team Italia Hyundai Elantra N TCR 0 No time N/A
14 49 Michel LEAL Team Leal Compétition Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 0 No time N/A
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