Qualifying – First pole position for Stefano Comini
19 September 2015
Stefano Comini of Target Competition claimed his first pole position in the TCR International Series. The Swiss driver, who is currently second in the Drivers’ Championship, set the fastest lap on his first lap out of the pit and decided not to make a second attempt in order to save his tyres for the races. It was a risky move, because Gianni Morbidelli came very close to steal the pole from him, as he was clocked only 16 thousandths of a second slower. Kevin Gleason was capable of a significant improvement compared to Q1, which propelled him to the third place on the grid for Race 1, ahead of Sergey Afanasyev and Pepe Oriola. The latter, who leads the standings, had his qualifying attempt spoiled by a slower car. Tomas Engström qualified tenth and won pole position on the reverse grid for Race 2; the Swede will have Jordi Gené alongside him on the front row. George Chou placed his SEAT León car in 13th position and on pole for the TCR Asia Series. The first race kicks off tonight at 22.25 local time (16.25 CET), after the Formula 1 Qualifying.
Qualifying 1: Hezemans fastest on his TCR debut Target Competition’s rookie Loris Hezemans provided a surprise by posting the fastest lap in Q1. The young Dutchman stopped the clock at 2:26.778 in the session’s late stages, demoting his teammate Stefano Comini (2:27.950) to second. Third was placed Jordi Gené (2:27.594), ahead of his Craft-Bamboo Lukoil colleagues Sergey Afanasyev (2:27.675) and Pepe Oriola (2:27.848). The SEAT cars filled the top five places, followed by Gianni Morbidelli’s Honda in sixth (2:28.284) and Mikhail Grachev’s Volkswagen in seventh (2:28.564). The only thrilling moment happened when Frank Yu missed the braking point in one of the corners and stopped only a few inches from the barrier; however he was able to rejoin. George Chou ranked 13th and first of the TCR Asia field. The following drivers advanced to Q2: Hezemans, Comini, Gené, Afanasyev, Oriola, Morbidelli, Grachev, Veglia, Gleason, Münnich, Monje and Engström.
Qualifying 2: Comini and Morbidelli covered by 0.016 Comini won the fight for the pole on his first lap (2:26.404); Morbidelli was the driver who went closer to him, but he had to settle with the second position only 16 thousandths of a second behind (2:26.420). Gleason claimed third place (2:26.724) ahead of Afanasyev (2:26.740) and Oriola (2:26.760).
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