TCR Europe
Coronel secures first pole of the season
Photo Credit: TCR Europe media

Coronel secures first pole of the season

Tom Coronel will start the first race of the 2021 TCR Europe season from the pole position after two dramatic Qualifying sessions at the Slovakia Ring. Comtoyou Racing racing driver set the best time of 2:10.344 in his Audi RS3 LMS as Volcano Motorsport Cupra León Competición of 2018 champion Mikel Azcona secured the first row.

The first session was red-flagged with over eleven minutes remaining when Teddy Clairet’s Peugeot 308 went into the gravel at Turn 6. When the session resumed, there was a scramble to beat Coronel’s time, with both Coronel and Mat’o Homola electing to remain in the pits to see what the others would do. First, Coronel’s team-mate Dušan Borkovič went quickest with a time of 2:10.758, but the Serbian driver was beaten almost immediately by Azcona with a 2:10.510. Franco Girolami then posted a 2:11.681 to go P5, with Nicolas Baert (2:11.479) and then Dániel Nagy (2:11.378) securing their places in Q2. Towards the end of the session, Coronel went back out and re-took P2 with a time of 2:10.594. On a thrilling final lap, Niels Langeveld failed by 0.079 of a second to get into the top twelve and so failed to progress into the second stage of Qualifying.

At the start of Q2, Homola’s Hyundai remained in the pits with its bonnet up, with a dejected Homola soon climbing out of the car to signify that he would take no further part in the session thanks to a fluid leak. Coronel, too, remained in the pits, but the Audi driver was playing a waiting game to see what his rivals would do. The answer was quick to emerge; Borkovič posted a 2:10.720 on his first flying lap, with his team-mate Baert going P2 with a 2:10.960. On the next lap, Azcona posted a 2:10.664, with Nagy (2:10.836) going P3. Baert then briefly took provisional pole position with a lap of 2:10.570 before Coronel snatched it back on his first competitive lap of the session with a 2:10.344. Again there was a dramatic end to the session with Azcona making a last-gasp attempt to retake P1, but it wasn’t to be and so the Spaniard would have to settle for second on the grid alongside Coronel for Race 1 with a time of 2:10.502. Thanks to the reversed grid, Mehdi Bennani is on provisional pole position for Race 2 in the Sébastien Loeb Racing Hyundai Elantra N.

 

TCR EUROPE

Qualifying. Slovakia Ring, 8 May 2021
1. Tom Coronel (Audi RS3 LMS) 2:10.344
2. Mikel Azcona (Cupra Leon Competición TCR) 2:10.502
3. Nicolas Baert (Audi RS3 LMS) 2:10.570
4. Dušan Borcović (Audi RS3 LMS) 2:10.720
5. Daniel Nagy (Cupra Leon Competición TCR) 2:10.836
6. Franco Girolami (Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR) 2:11.134
7. Klim Gavrilov (Audi RS3 LMS) 2:11.227
8. Isidro Callejas (Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR) 2:11.400
9. Felice Jelmini (Hyundai Elantra N TCR) 2:11.700
10. Mehdi Bennani (Hyundai Elantra N TCR) 2:12.068
11. Evgenii Leonov (Cupra Leon Competición TCR) 2:12.327
12. Mat’o Homola (Hyundai i30N TCR) 2:12.242
13. Niels Langeveld (Hyundai Elantra N TCR) 2:12.533
14. Jáchym Galáš (Hyundai i30N TCR) 2:12.558
15. Jimmy Clairet (Peugeot 308 TCR) 2:12.608
16. Martin Ryba (Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR) 2:12.715
17. Viktor Davidovski (Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR) 2:12.848
18. Jack Young (Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR) 2:13.080
19. Sami Taoufik (Hyundai Elantra N TCR) 2:13.543
20. Sylvain Pussier (Cupra TCR) 2:13.616
21. Gilles Colombani (Cupra TCR) 2:14.707
22. Teddy Clairet (Peugeot 308 TCR) 2:16.464

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