The Qualifying session on the wet track at La Pedrera saw the first four drivers in the Kumho TCR World Tour standings classified in the order, with Yann Ehrlacher claiming his second pole position of the season from Norbert Michelisz, Mikel Azcona and Rob Huff. Pedro Cardoso qualified ninth and best of TCR South America; the Brazilian youngster will therefore share the front row of the top-ten reversed grid for Race 2 with his fellow countryman Raphael Reis.
Free Practice 2 - The session was delayed by 15 minutes waiting for the sky to clear and wen it started a light rain was falling. The red flag was waved after ten minutes, when Ma Qing Hua hit the tyre wall and was towed back to the pits. Two other red flags were caused by Juan Manuel Casella and Galid Osman; Casella hit a tyre stack, while Osman spun at T6. Ehrlacher topped the time sheet with a lap of 1:46.316, six tenths faster than Azcona (1:46.9209 and eight than Michelisz (1:47.138). Cardoso was sixth fastest and best of TCR South America (1:47.745) ahead of Bernardo Llaver (1:48.113).
Qualifying – It was raining when Q1 began, Azcona set the first fastest lap of 1:51.394 that was improved by Néstor Girolami to 1:50.093. Then Azcona was the first driver to go under 1:50 with a 1:48.540. During the dying moments the rain eased a bit, and Ma clocked a 1:47.423, provisionally ousting Azcona, but the Spaniard retook the position with his last lap of 1:46.763. Behind him and Ma, Girolami was third (1:47.524), followed by Ehrlacher (1:47.878), Thed Björk (1:47.983), Santiago Urrutia (1:48.081) and Cardoso who topped TCR South America with 1:48.298. The other drivers who advanced to Q2 were Frédéric Vervisch, Huff, Michelisz, Fabián Yannantuoni and Reis.
Rain intensified at the start of Q2, Ehrlacher immediately posted a lap of 1:53.872 that nobody was able to beat. Michelisz and Azcona improved on their second attempt to 1:54.103 and 1:54.246 to be placed second and third, with Huff fourth (1:54.817) and Urrutia fifth (1:54.870). However, the Uruguayan will start Race 1 from the bottom of the grid following an engine change. Cardoso confirmed his brilliant performance with a lap of 1:58.117 that was worth the pole in TCR South America, while Girolami failed to make the top ten and ranked a disappointing 11th. Casella did not take part in the session following his crash in the practice.
Race 1 is due to start later at 15:10 local time (20:10 CEST), with live streaming on tcr-series.tv and YouTube.
La Pedrera – Qualifying overall
La Pedrera – Qualifying TCR South America
Championship points – TCR World Tour
Championship points – TCR South America
Picture: TCR South America/Maximiliano Sanabria