Yan Ehrlacher did it again! After setting pole position for the Kumho TCR World Tour’s Race 1 at Spa-Francorchamps, he encored today at the Hungaroring. In a close Qualifying session, the French driver and his Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 03 beat Néstor Girolami’s ALM Motorsport Honda Civic Type R by 14 hundredths of a second, while his own teammate Ma Qing Hua qualified third, four further tenths adrift.
Dušan Borković set the tenths fastest time in his Target Competition-run Hyundai Elantra N and secured the pole position for Sunday’s Race 2, with Cyan Racing’s Thed Björk alongside him. But the TCR Europe’s competitors who impressed the most was Viktor Andersson who for the first tame made the cut for Q2 and eventually qualified seventh in his MA:GP Lynk & Co.
In the first twenty-minute part of Qualifying, it was local hero Norbert Michelisz who set the first flying lap time (1:53.866) in his BRC Squadra Corse Elantra N ahead of the Cyan Racing of Santiago Urrutia (1:54.348) and Ma (1:54.443). The two Comtoyou Audi RS 3 LMS cars of Rob Huff (1:54.258) and Frédéric Vervisch (1:54.258) then went second and third fastest respectively before Girolami Honda went fastest with a lap of 1:52.708. In the second half of the session, Vervisch improved to P3 behind Michelisz with a 1:54.221 while Girolami’s new teammate Ruben Volt was in P5 (1:54.251). There was then a flurry of quick laps, with Urrutia (1:53.303), Michelisz (1:53.465) and Mikel Azcona (1:53.582) all improving but Ehrlacher went fastest with a 1:52.560 after having his previous best lap time deleted for infringing track limits. Fastest of the TCR Europe drivers were Tom Coronel (1:54.500) and Kevin Ceccon (1:54.516) in the final two positions that would take them through into Q2, while Borković was a frustrating 0.023 away from the all-important top twelve. With a little over a minute remaining, Andersson set a 1:53.740 that saw him leap up to P8 overall and take over as the quickest in TCR Europe. Borković then went P12 (1:54.085) edging out Coronel, Kobe Pauwels and Ceccon.
The ten-minute Q2 then saw Ehrlacher set the first competitive lap (1:52.289) ahead of Girolami (1:52.362) and Ma (1:52.795). On the next lap, all but three of the cars headed for the pits for fresh tyres, leaving enough time for just one flying lap. Borković set a 1:54.153 to set the fastest TCR Europe lap time just before the chequered flag fell, but lots of purple and green on the timing screen confirmed that the final lap would potentially decide the positions. Ehrlacher improved with a 1:52.219 to strengthen his grip on P1, with Ma also improving (1:52.761) although it wasn’t quite enough to beat Girolami for P2. Andersson went P7 overall with a 1:53.748 to take over from Borković as the best of the TCR Europe drivers while Huff was one of several drivers to have laps deleted and the British driver ended the session in twelfth place behind Volt.
Race 1 is due to start at 17:05 local time/CEST, with live streaming on tcr-series.tv and YouTube.
Hungaroring – Qualifying overall
Hungaroring – Qualifying TCR Europe
Championship points – TCR World Tour
Championship points – TCR Europe
Picture: WSC Group