Photo: TCR Media

Gianni Morbidelli takes dominant Monza pole position

Gianni Morbidelli dominated the qualifying session at Monza, Italy. The WestCoast Racing driver only did one timed lap in each segment of qualifying, and that was enough to put him on top in both sessions.

Stefano Comini came home a very positive second for Target Competition, with fellow SEAT driver Pepe Oriola in third for Craft-Bamboo Lukoil Racing. Sergey Afanasyev came home a good fourth in the sister SEAT León Racer, with Andrea Belicchi fifth for Target Competition.

Fernando Monje scored a season-best sixth for Campos Racing’s Opel Astra OPC, with a very clever use of slipstreaming and despite a few spectacular moments in qualifying. Behind him Igor Skuz came seventh in his Honda Civic TCR after improving just under the flag, ahead of Jordi Gené, who will be disappointed for eighth.

BD Racing’s Antonio D’Amico and Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Mikhail Grachev completed the top ten, and will be on the front row for Race 2 come tomorrow.

The session was animated in the first segment by a contact at the first corner, with Zengo’s Zsolt Szàbo hitting and spinning Igor Skuz. Later on Kevin Gleason had an off at Lesmo 1 but managed to save the car. Unfortunately for the WestCoast Racing driver, the same happened on the following lap, although this time the Honda Civic TCR stopped into the wall.

Minor offs by Michel Nykjaer, Stefano Comini and Fernando Monje did not have the same catastrophic consequences, whereas Tom Boardman stopped on the track with mechanical problems on his Ford Focus.

Action will resume tomorrow for the shakedown at 9.50.