Thai racer Kantadhee Kusiri claimed the first pole position in the 2017 TCR Asia at Sepang International Circuit. After emerging as the fastest man in the three Free Practice sessions, Kusiri drove his Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf to a best qualifying lap of 2:17.359 that was nearly one second faster than everybody else’s times.
Malaysia’s Lai Wee Sing qualified second in his R Engineering Honda Civic, ahead of Kusiri’s teammate, the Ecuadorian Diego Moran.
The second local driver, Mohamed Kaathir (R Engineering Honda) clocked the fourth fastest lap, followed by Team Thailand’s Tin Sritrai (Volkswagen Golf) and Audi Hong Kong’s Jasper Thong in the first Audi RS3 LMS.
Tong Siu Kau (Phoenix Racing Audi) and Eric Kwong (Elegant Racing SEAT) will share the front row on the reverse grid for Race 2.
Q1 – Kusiri set the fastest lap for good on his first attempt, clocking a 2:18.629 that nobody was able to beat. Local driver Kaathir set the second fastest lap of 2:19.186, ahead of Lai (2:19.306) and Thong (2:19.887).
For most of the session the two SEAT León DSG cars of Elegant Racing sat at the bottom of the time sheet, however, with only two minutes left, Kwong moved up to sixth (2:20.179) and kicked out Douglas Khoo’s in the Viper Niza Racing SEAT León. Kwong’s teammate Alex Liu Lic Ka only joined in the final moments and could not achieve more than ninth. Him and Khoo did not make the cut for Q2, while Tong Siu Kau secured the eighth and last spot.
Q2 – Lai set a first provisional fastest lap of 2:18.267; Moran (2:18.382) and Kaathir (2:18.430) were close behind.
However, with two minutes to go, Kusiri settled the matter for good posting a 2:17.359 that gave him the pole, relegating the rest of the field nearly one second behind.
Tong did not post any valid time.
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