WTCR Qualifying Q3 flash: Urrutia stars again
Santiago Urrutia completed a perfect qualifying session at WTCR Race of Aragón by topping the Q3 shootout for a second DHL Pole Position at MotorLand Aragón.
The Cyan Performance Lynk & Co driver, who was also quickest in Q1, was the last to run in the final phase of qualifying and set a great time of 2m13.471s in his Lynk & Co 03 TCR to bump Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Yann Ehrlacher down to second.
However, Ehrlacher now appears to be in a great position to win the 2020 WTCR title – especially as closest rival Esteban Guerrieri failed to progress beyond Q1, in P18. The Frenchman heads into Sunday with an advantage of 31 points over the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda driver ahead of the final three races of the season.
Vernay outpaces Urrutia in Q2
Jean-Karl Vernay just outpaced Urrutia for the fastest time in Q2, his effort of 2m13.474s edging out the Lynk & Co driver by just 0.251s.
Cyan Performance Lynk & Co’s Thed Björk banked a late lap in Q2 to jump up to third ahead of Yann Ehrlacher in fourth and Nathanaël Berthon’s Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS 3 LMS in fifth to complete those who would progress to the Q3 shootout.
Those who missed the cut included home hero Mikel Azcona in seventh in Zengő Motorsport’s CUPRA Leon Competición. WTCR Rookie Driver award winner Gilles Magnus was eighth fastest, ahead of 2019 King of WTCR Norbert Michelisz in his BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR, with Ehrlacher’s uncle and team-mate Yvan Muller rounding out the top 10 for the reverse-grid Race 2 pole.
Bence Boldizs was P11 in his Zengő Motorsport CUPRA and Néstor Girolami P12 in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR.
Urrutia on top as Vernay hits trouble
Vernay was the first to run in the Q3 shootout. But the Frenchman got it all wrong in his Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris, running wide at the first corner. He was forced to abandon his lap and automatically settle for fifth fastest. “Overall, it’s still good because we have a good grid position for Race 1 [second],” said Vernay. “I eliminated myself, my fault, so it’s easier to take.”
Ehrlacher was next up and put in a great effort to bank a time of 2m13.623s. Now it was Berthon’s turn in his Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport entry, but he was too cautious in the first turn. His time was just 0.131s down on his countryman.
Björk was the first of the final two Lynk & Cos to run, the Swede going third fastest behind Ehrlacher and Berthon – the trio split by just 0.148s.
Now Urrutia, already fastest in both free practice sessions and in Q1, was the last to go. The Uruguayan put together a strong lap to claim the DHL Pole Position from Ehrlacher.
But Ehrlacher was happy with his performance and position ahead of the races on Sunday. “It was a really good lap, the best of my weekend and it happened in Q3,” he said.
Race 1 at WTCR Race of Aragón takes place on Sunday morning at 09h15 local time.