Luca Engstler continued setting pole positions in the TCR Asia and TCR Thailand joint events. At Bangsaen’s street circuit the young German annihilated the rest of the field in his Volkswagen Golf GTI, claiming his third pole out of the three events held so far and inflicting a gap of nearly two seconds to Lo Sze Ho who qualified in second position.
Nattanid Leewattanavaragul confirmed she likes Chonburi’s treacherous street circuit where last year she became the first lady ever driver to win a TCR race; at the wheel of her Morin Racing SEAT León DSG she posted the third fastest lap and won pole position for TCR Thailand.
In Q1, Engstler offered a preview of things to come clocking an impressive 1:43.443 that placed him on top of the timesheet with a huge margin. Leewattanavaragul was second fastest (1:45.216) followed by fellow TCR Thailand competitors Chariya Nuya (1:45.216) and Pattarapol Vongprai (1:45.507). Engstler’s teammate and current TCR Asia points leader Mitchell Cheah ranked fifth (1:45.613) ahead of Jakraphan Davee (1:45.885) and Lo Sze Ho (1:45.929). The only driver who missed to advance to Q2 was Douglas Khoo who hits the tyre barriers twice in his SEAT.
Engstler began Q2 in the best possible way with a lap of 1:43.284 and then even improved his Q1 time with a lap of 1:42.727 that granted him the pole. Lo Sze Ho qualified his Maximum Racing Honda Civic in second position (1:44.741), beating Lewattanavaragul’s 1:44.993. The latter will share the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s Race 1 with Vongprai (1:45.151). Diego Moran qualified the third Liqui Moly Team Engstler Golf car in fifth (1:45.595) ahead of Davee and Cheah.
In the dying moments of the session Ivan Szeto spun and crashed his Maximum Racing Honda, however he maintained the tenth place that will grant him the pole on the reverse grid for Sunday’s Race 2. As for Nuya, he was unable to post a decent lap time and will start 12th in both races.
Race 1 is scheduled for 12:40pm on Saturday (7:40am CET); live streaming at www.tcr-series.tv.
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