TCR International Series: Gianni Morbidelli secured Monza pole
Famous Monza circuit in Italy is a host of fifth round of TCR International Series. Fifteen drivers took part in qualifying session and Italian veteran Gianni Morbidelli was the fastest. Morbidelli drove his WestCoast Racing Honda Civic to lap time 2:00.353, which gave him the second pole position this season.
The Italian driver was uncatchable for the other competitors who had to settle for the positions immediately behind him. It only took one lap in Q2 to Gianni Morbidelli for claiming pole position with an outstanding lap of 2:00.353 as none of his competitors was able to go under the 2:01 mark.
Stefano Comini (Target Competition) and Pepe Oriola (Craft Bamboo Lukoil) – currently first and second in the championship standings ahead of Morbidelli – managed to qualify second and third. Sergey Afanasyev is fourth, Andrea Belicchi ranked fifth ahead of a brilliant Fernando Monje.
Fernando Monje and Campos Racing kept on with the aim of improving the performance of the Opel Astra OPC; their work paid off as Monje was able to consistently close the gap and fight for third position on the grid. His final sixth place was a promising result in view of the next races.
Tom Boardman was set to drive the Ford Focus at a decent pace when he had to stop on the track because a number of indicators were signaling possible technical failures. Eventually his worries proved to be unfounded and he was able to drive back to the pits.
Another disappointed driver was Morbidelli’s teammate, Kevin Gleason, who crashed with a puncture on his first qualifying lap and spoiled his chances to provide the icing on the cake for WestCoast Racing. Mikhail Grachev finished tenth, winning pole position for Sunday’s second race.
Sunday’s races are scheduled at 12.35 and 14.05 local time, with a distance of 11 laps each.