TCR South America championship leader Ignacio Montenegro scored his third pole position of the season in qualifying for the eighth round at the Velopark in Brazil, just half a tenth ahead of PMO Motorsport’s Rafael Suzuki.
Argentine Montenegro had to contend with tricky conditions at the short circuit near Nova Santa Rita in the south of Brazil, as rain had affected all of the day’s earlier running and drivers were left with a drying circuit riddled with puddles.
It had been Montenegro’s Squadra Martino team-mate Juan Manuel Casella who had topped the times in Q1, the Uruguayan having become the first driver in the series to get his hands on a new Honda Civic Type-R FL5, the car which had been in the hands of Néstor Girolami at the previous event.
Suzuki was also second in Q1, with Montenegro half a second adrift of his team-mate.
But in Q2 the 18-year-old Argentine found four tenths more pace, and managed to secure another pole to help in his championship quest.
Suzuki, now the sole PMO Lynk & Co driver in the field, had to settle for second, less than a tenth of a second adrift.
The Q2 session had earlier been interrupted for some time when Enrique Maglione went wide in his Squadra Martino Honda, unable to slow or turn his car on the wet grass, making heavy contact with the tyre barrier which almost flipped his FK7 Civic.
A lengthy stoppage was required for barrier repairs, and when the session resumed it had barley got going before another red flag with two minutes to go, resulting in the field having to do a final sprint for the top times.
Toyota’s Bernardo Llaver, second in the driver’s standings, qualified his Corolla in third, ahead of Casella’s Honda in fourth.
Paladini Racing’s Juan Ángel Rosso put his Toyota in fifth, ahead of the Scuderia Chiarelli Hyundai of Pedro Cardoso in sixth, the Brazilian being the only other driver within a second of the pace at the short circuit.
Maglione was seventh despite his crash ruling him out thereafter, ahead of the Toyota of José Manuel Sapag in eighth.
The CUPRA of Raphael Reis – who actually crashed into Adalberto Baptista at the end of Q1 when the latter was carelessly rejoining the track – was ninth, with the top ten being completed by Paladini Racing’s Fabián Yannantuoni.
Race one is scheduled to get underway at 13:10 local time (09:10 BST) on Sunday.
|1||23||Ignacio MONTENEGRO||Squadra Martino||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||9||58.893||–|
|2||8||Rafael SUZUKI||PMO Motorsport||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||8||58.936||0.043|
|3||17||Bernardo LLAVER||Toyota Team Argentina||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||8||59.163||0.270|
|4||60||Juan Manuel CASELLA||Squadra Martino||Honda Civic Type-R FL5 TCR||8||59.460||0.566|
|5||2||Juan Ángel ROSSO||Paladini Racing||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||8||59.730||0.836|
|6||43||Pedro CARDOSO||Scuderia Chiarelli||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||5||59.836||0.943|
|7||15||Enrique MAGLIONE||Squadra Martino||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||2||1:00.076||1.183|
|8||33||José Manuel SAPAG||Toyota Team Argentina||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||8||1:00.076||1.183|
|9||77||Raphael REIS||W2 Pro GP||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||4||1:00.090||1.196|
|10||5||Fabián YANNANTUONI||Paladini Racing||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||5||1:00.110||1.216|
|11||28||Galid OSMAN||W2 Pro GP||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||4||1:00.136||1.243|
|12||70||Diego NUNES||Cobra Racing Team||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||0||No time||N/A|
|1||60||Juan Manuel CASELLA||Squadra Martino||Honda Civic Type-R FL5 TCR||12||58.772||–|
|2||8||Rafael SUZUKI||PMO Motorsport||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||10||58.922||0.150|
|3||23||Ignacio MONTENEGRO||Squadra Martino||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||11||59.278||0.506|
|4||43||Pedro CARDOSO||Scuderia Chiarelli||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||9||59.361||0.589|
|5||28||Galid OSMAN||W2 Pro GP||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||10||59.524||0.752|
|6||17||Bernardo LLAVER||Toyota Team Argentina||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||10||59.555||0.783|
|7||15||Enrique MAGLIONE||Squadra Martino||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||10||59.579||0.807|
|8||2||Juan Ángel ROSSO||Paladini Racing||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||10||59.626||0.854|
|9||70||Diego NUNES||Cobra Racing Team||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||9||59.679||0.907|
|10||5||Fabián YANNANTUONI||Paladini Racing||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||14||59.840||1.068|
|11||33||José Manuel SAPAG||Toyota Team Argentina||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||15||59.946||1.174|
|12||77||Raphael REIS||W2 Pro GP||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||9||1:00.057||1.285|
|13||42||Fabiano CARDOSO||Scuderia Chiarelli||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||14||1:00.215||1.443|
|14||34||Fabio CASAGRANDE||Squadra Martino||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||12||1:00.520||1.748|
|15||10||Adalberto BAPTISTA||Cobra Racing Team||Toyota Corolla GRS TCR||13||1:00.745||1.973|
|16||37||Guilherme REISCHL||PMO Racing||Peugeot 308 TCR||14||1:01.071||2.299|