WTCR First Qualifying flash: Bjork claims DHL Pole for Race 1
Thed Björk has claimed the DHL Pole Position for Race 1 at WTCR Race of Netherlands following First Qualifying at Zandvoort this morning.
Björk set a best time of 1m44.080s around the 4.307-kilometre circuit to head Cyan Racing Lynk & Co team-mate Yvan Muller by just 0.073s, with Cyan Performance pair Andy Priaulx and Yann Ehrlacher completing a strong session for the customer racing brand that is aiming this year to become the first Chinese make to win an FIA world title.
“The lap was really good,” said Björk, who endured a difficult time in Slovakia last weekend. “I like the track, there’s lots of grip and it’s good for us. I’m surprised by our pace after last week.”
PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona showed promising pace to go fifth fastest, ahead of another quick newcomer, SLR Volkswagen’s Benjamin Leuchter and his team-mate Johan Kristoffersson, the double FIA World Rallycross champion.
Daniel Haglöf showed more form for PWR Racing’s CUPRA TCRs by going eighth quickest, with Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport’s Jean-Karl Vernay and Mehdi Bennani’s Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR completing the top 10.
WTCR Race of Slovakia race winner Frédéric Vervisch was P12 in his Comtoyou Team Audi Sport entry, behind Dutch local hero Nicky Catsburg, with his fellow BRC Hyundai ace Norbert Michelisz in P13.
#RoadToMalaysia points leader Néstor Girolami was P14 in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda, with team-mate, fellow Argentine and title rival Esteban Guerrieri in P16.
The stars of of the Slovakia weekend, Team Mulsanne’s Ma Qinghua and Kevin Ceccon, were down in P23 and P24 respectively this time in their Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCRs, behind another local hero, Tom Coronel, in P21.
The 30-minute session was brought to a close by a red flag after Tiago Monteiro went off into a gravel trap in his KCMG Honda. Augusto Farfus also went off earlier on in his Hyundai but was able to continue.
Race 1 at WTCR Race of Netherlands is scheduled to begin at 14h35 local time.