In only his second TCR Europe Qualifying, Viktor Andersson set the fastest lap around Pau’s street circuit in his MA:GP Lynk & Co 03, and will start this evening’s Race 1 from pole position. Alongside Andersson on the grid will be the Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N of Dušan Borković while a tactical decision by Tom Coronel to aim for the tenth fastest lap time means he will start tomorrow’s Race 2 from pole in his Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS.
The twenty-minute first stage effectively gave drivers and teams another chance to finalise set-ups ahead of the decisive Q2, with the morning overcast but dry. Borković set the first competitive time (1:24.277) ahead of Lewis Brown (1:25.658) and Isaac Smith (1:25.841) in the Volcano Motorsport Audi cars. Borković and Smith then improved on the next lap with a 1:23.247 and a 1:24.620 before Kobe Pauwels split the pair with a 1:24.259. Just after the session’s halfway, Eric Cayrolle went second (1:24.145) before Smith improved (1:22.903) to go P1. Andersson then improved to go P2 (1:23.161) while Cayrolle also improved his best lap with (1:23.436) to sit in P4 behind Borković. With around five minutes remaining, Smith and Pauwels both improved with a 1:22.853 and a 1:23.038 but Borković briefly went fastest with a lap of 1:22.834 before being eclipsed by Pauwels’ 1:22.805. On the next lap, the Serbian driver edged ahead again with a 1:22.681, with Pauwels improving to 1:22.691 but remaining in second. With thirty seconds remaining, Borković again improved to 1:22.523 and then Davidovski moved into P4 (1:23.809)
In the ten-minute sprint of Q2, the first driver to manage a flying lap was Davidovski (1:25.661), with Andersson (1:1:24.510), Brown (1:24.184), Smith (1:23.938) and finally Cayrolle (1:23.577) all going quicker than the Macedonian driver. John Filippi then lapped in 1:23.109 to go P1. Andersson (1:22.034), Smith (1:22.547), Pauwels (1:22.781), Cayrolle (1:22.881) and Borković (1:22.497) then all beat the 1:23 barrier, Pauwels and Borković both improved on their best laps, although neither was able to beat Andersson’s time. With one minute remaining, Andersson set a stunning lap of 1:21.782 to firmly stake his claim on pole position for Race 1. Borković was second fastest (1:22.157) and Pauwels third (1:22.396) ahead of Smith (1:22.547) and Brown (1:22.743). Coronel was again tenth quickest (1:26.611) and so will start Race 2 from pole with Julien Nougaret (1:25.969) alongside.
Race is due to start at 18:10 local time (CEST), with live streaming on tcr-series.tv.
Pau – Qualifying
1. Viktor Andersson (MA:GP, Lynk & Co 03), 1:21.782
2. Dušan Borković (Target Competition, Hyundai Elantra N), 1:22.157
3. Kobe Pauwels (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS), 1:22.396
1. J. Filippi, 80pts; 2. T. Coronel, 80; 3. I. Smith 49
Picture: WSC Group