tcr / Brilliant Qualifying for Van Lagen and Huff , Vernay aims for Race2

Impressive performance from the three Leopard Racing WRT’s VW Golf GTIs on the first day at the Motorsport Arena in Oschersleben (Germany), the track hosting the 10th round of the 2017 TCR International Series.

Free Practice 1 was delayed by one hour and 45 minutes because of a power failure in the aftermath of a thunderstorm that hit the region in the early morning (and also caused a 45-minute delay of the FP2). Leopard Racing’s Jaap van Lagen and Rob Huff ended the session in 3rd and 4th respectively whereas all top drivers seemed to struggle finding the right set up: Borković was 9th, Leopard Racing WRT’s Jean-Karl Vernay 12th, Tassi 15th, Colciago 16th and Comini 17th. FP2 was red-flagged twice due to crashes involving Danny Kroes and Jens Reno Møller’s. Before the first suspension, lap times were consistently improving with twelve drivers within one second.

In the Qualifying session, former F1 driver Gianni Morbidelli claimed pole position with his Volkswagen Golf ahead of Leopard Racing WRT’s Jaap van Lagen, who scored his best result in qualifying since joining the championship. The German track seems to suit the VW Golf well as Leopard Racing WRT’ Rob Huff also bagged the 4th place on his last attempt, Jean-Karl Vernay ended the session in 9th place to secure a spot on the front row of the reverse grid for Race2.

 

Jaap van Lagen, 2nd:
“I am happy to be in the TCR International Series for the second time this year. It has been a last-minute call from the team, and although I am driving almost every weekend, it is not easy to just come and do well. One always needs a little time to re-adjust to a front wheel-drive car and the rest. Today, the Golf worked really well and without a little mistake in the last corner, I think we could have been fighting for pole. First goal for me is to help Jean-Karl Vernay in the races. We will see how things develop, as Jean-Karl is not too close in neither of the grids. I would do my race only if there is no way to help him.”


Rob Huff, 4th:

“I am pretty pleased with this result as we had quite a few issues with the car in terms of electronics and gear-shifting, some misfires as well, but we managed to overcome all of this. Obviously we changed the spark plugs between Q1 and Q2 In Q2 we had some vibrations because of the tyres and the radio wasn’t working, so I couldn’t ask the engineer whether I had another set of new tyres to come back in. However P4 is good and is good to see Jaap in P2. JP is obviously disappointed with his P9 but tomorrow we will do our best to help him.”

 

Jean-Karl Vernay, 9th:
“Qualifying was difficult, we’ve been struggling to find the right set up for the car in free practice and we also had some steering issue. I was quite confident before qualifying and Q1 was ok with P6, but we also started having a lot of spinning and very little traction. We don’t know yet what it was about but things became worse and worse, lap after lap, both in Q1 and Q2, and so I couldn’t do any better than P9. At least we are in the top ten and will be able to start Race-2 from the front row, but I am obviously disappointed with our performance. We need to understand what happened and try to get ready for tomorrow’s races.”

 

Results – Qualifying:

1 – G. Morbidelli / ITA / West Coast Racing / VW Golf GTI / 1’31.426
2 – J. Van Lagen / NED / Leopard Racing Team WRT / VW Golf GTI / +0.243
3 – D. Lloyd / GBR / Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing / Seat Leon / +0.288
4 – R. Huff / GBR / Leopard Racing Team WRT / VW Golf GTI / +0.395
5 – P. Oriola / SPA / Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing / Seat Leon / +0.408
6 – G. Altoe / ITA / West Coast Racing / VW Golf GTI / +0.457
7 – J. Nash / GBR / Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing / Seat Leon / +0.528
8 – R. Colciago / ITA / M1RA / Honda Civic Type-R / +0.704
9 – J.K. Vernay / FRA / Leopard Racing Team WRT / VW Golf GTI / +0.720
10 – M. Homola / SVK / DG Sport Competition / Opel Astra / +0.765

 

Motorsport Arena Oschersleben – 3.66 km – 17 laps (local time, GMT +2)

Sunday, July 9th
12:30 – Race 1
14:30 – Race 2 (top-10 reversed grid)