Title hopeful Oriola bags DHL Pole Position for reverse-grid Race 2
Pepe Oriola gave his outside WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO title hopes a boost by claiming DHL Pole Position for the reverse-grid Race 2 at WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan.
The Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra TCR driver will start from the reverse-grid DHL Pole Position in Race 2, having qualified P10 in the Q2 qualifying session at Suzuka today.
Oriola, who is fourth in the WTCR OSCARO points and has won one race so far this season, ended up with the same time in Q2 as ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport driver Esteban Guerrieri but, crucially, had posted his lap before the Argentinian.
It is the third time Oriola has secured a reverse-grid Race 2 pole this season.
“I did the same time as Esteban, I just did it before,” said Oriola. “My lap in Q2 wasn’t as good as Q1 but still, what counts is I am on pole. Maybe I was a little bit lucky, but I did the time first.
“I’m really happy for the team, for Cupra, it will give us a big boost. To be 11th or first tomorrow, the points is a huge difference. If nothing weird happens, it will put us [in a position to] at least still to be fighting in Macau.”
Oriola will share the front row of the grid with Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR driver Rob Huff, who qualified ninth.
Belgian federation-backed Denis Dupont will start his Audi Sport Team Comtoyou Audi RS 3 LMS from third in Race 2 ahead of BRC Racing Team Hyundai driver Norbert Michelisz.
Aurélien Panis missed out on a spot in Q3 by two tenths in P6 and will line up fifth on the Race 2 grid in his Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS.
The reverse-grid Race 2 of WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan is scheduled to start at 11h05 local time on Sunday, with Race 3 getting underway at 12h30 local time.