tcr / LEOPARD RACING WRT TAKES 1-2 IN THRILLING QP AT THE ZHEJIANG CIRCUIT
Following a brilliant display in free practice, Leopard Racing WRT’s Rob Huff of Britain claimed his first pole position ahead of teammate J.K. Vernay of France, who’s now back at the top of the standings.
Rob Huff claimed today in China his first pole position at the wheel of the Leopard Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI while teammate Jean-Karl Vernay secured 2nd place to lock Row-1 of the grid of tomorrow’s Race-1 for Leopard Racing WRT.
With the four points awarded to the second best qualifier of the day, Vernay also retrieved the leadership in the championship with a two-point gap over Attila Tassi.
In Qualifying-1, the Hyundai i30 N cars of Menu and Tarquini set the fastest laps in the first part of the session but weren’t admitted to Q2 as their temporary homologation form was not accepted and therefore they won’t be eligible to score points.
Leopard Racing’s Huff and Vernay had a thrilling fight in Q2, with the Frenchman topping the time list with a provisional fastest lap of 1:33.341 and Huff taking the top spot under the chequered flag with a staggering 1:33.173. Oriola claimed 3rd with 1:33.486 ahead of Morbidelli and Lloyd, who claimed the last qualifying point.
The Race1 will start tomorrow at 14:30 local time (GMT +8).
Rob HUFF, 1st:
“It’s the first pole position of the year for the team and myself, so we are very pleased, of course, to take first row with our two cars. It wouldn’t be so if the Hyundai cars would have been allowed to be in Q2 and I congratulate them for the impressive show on their debut. The car worked perfectly throughout the sessions and on a track that is tremendously demanding and slippery. It’s almost impossible to avoid any mistake. For tomorrow, we’ll see what strategy we need to apply. Clearly the main objective is to have Jean-Karl and Leopard Racing Team WRT securing the title. For me, it is just a pity that this will be my last TCR event this year.”
Jean-Karl VERNAY, 2nd:
“First row is a terrific result. I did a couple of very fast laps but eventually got beaten by Rob, which at least proved there are no team orders. I now have a 2-point advantage on Attila Tassi and we’ll see what will happen tomorrow, but I stress: we are very competitive and I am very happy.”
Zhejiang Circuit, China – 3.20 km (local time, GMT +8)
Sunday, October 8th
14:30 – Race 1 (19 laps)
16:05 – Race 2 (19 laps)
Results – Qualifying:
1 – R. Huff / GBR / Leopard Racing Team WRT / VW Golf GTI / 1’33.503
2 – J.K. Vernay / FRA / Leopard Racing Team WRT / VW Golf GTI / +0.168
3 – P. Oriola / SPA / Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing / Seat Leon / +0.313
4 – G. Morbidelli / ITA / West Coast Racing / VW Golf GTI / +0.631
5 – D. Lloyd / GBR / Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing / Seat Leon / +0.644
6 – R. Colciago / ITA / M1RA / Honda Civic Type-R / +0.915
7 – A. Tassi / HUN / M1RA / Honda Civic Type-R / +0.970
8 – J. Nash / GBR / Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing / Seat Leon / +0.985
9 – D. Kajaia / GEO / GE-Force / Alfa Romeo Giulietta / +0.997
10 – F. Vervisch / BEL / Comtoyou Racing / Audi RS3 LMS / +1.321