news tcr / Pole position and an all-Leopard Racing front row
There was an early start today but it was well worth it for Team Leopard Racing because, come the end of qualifying there was an all-blue front row to the grid. It was a fantastic result, achieved in difficult conditions, with the rain falling on a track where set-up and driver skill are what make the difference.
The two VW Golf GTI TCR cars were perfectly prepared and set-up by the WRT and Volkswagen crews as they took to the track in Q1 with the aim of making it to the top 12 necessary to move ahead to Q2. Mission accomplished when they got through, as rain, at first light and then heavier immediately threw up another variable, with all runners having to fit rain tyres. Jean-Karl and Stefano proved that they and their Golfs were masters of the situation, posting the fastest times by the end of the session, to claim the front row.
Weather Q1, cloudy, air temperature 26, track 26, humidity 65%.
Weather Q2, rain, air temperature 26, track 26, humidity 85%.
Jean-Karl Vernay: 3’00.682 (1st fastest)
“In the first part of qualifying (Q1) the car was good, but the track was dirty and slippery. We were reasonably quick and could have improved, but the important thing was to be in the top 12. Q2 in the rain was difficult but interesting. I slowed down after setting a good time, to cool the tyres and then I attacked again. I could have gone even quicker but by then pole was in our hands. We needed to get that front row and we managed it.”
Stefano Comini: 3’01.093 (2nd fastest)
“Q1 was rather difficult and I struggled quite a bit to concentrate and get a good feeling from the car, especially after a slight coming together. In Q2 I started off cautiously and then the feeling improved and given that the Golf is fantastic in the wet I improved lap after lap. On the final one I could have gone quicker still, but I was accidentally blocked and didn’t improve my time, but by then, the front row was in the bag.”
1 – JK Vernay 3’00.682 W Golf – Leopard Racing
2 – S. Comini 3’01.093 W Golf – Leopard Racing
3 – T. Montero 3’02.684 Honda Civic
4 – A. Buri 3’04.383 Seat Leon
5 – D.Borkovich 3’04.442 Seat Leon
Sunday 20 November: Races 1 and 2 – 10 – 12 (Local time) 03-05 (CET)
Streaming TV: https://youtu.be/MdSydpK5UfE