Photo: TCR Media

Dusan Borkovic secures pole in Spa, while Morbidelli will start near the back

B3 Racing driver Dusan Borkovic claimed pole position for the third round of the TCR International Series at Spa-Francorchamps, qualifying his B3 Racing SEAT León TCR over two-tenths of a second clear over Craft-Bamboo Lukoil’s Pepe Oriola, while championship leader Gianni Morbidelli qualified in 15th for both races.

The two WestCoast Racing Hondas of Kevin Gleason and Gianni Morbidelli both struggled in the 20 minute Q1, consistently lapping just near the critical 12th place cut-off.

Morbidelli’s last lap wasn’t fast enough to improve the Italian’s position with his Honda running with 30kg of success ballast this weekend, while a last minute flyer from Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Jimmy Clairet in the new Peugeot 308 saw the Frenchman demote Gleason to 13th, with the American forced to start both races from that position.

In Q2, lap deletions would shape the whole session, with the two Leopard Racing Volkswagens of Stefano Comini and Jean-Karl Vernay losing their first laps and were forced to push hard on a second run.

Dusan Borkovic set a lightning fast first lap and was never troubled during the session, with Pepe Oriola finishing as Borkovic’s closest challenger for Craft-Bamboo, just ahead of WestCoast Racing Honda driver Aku Pellinen, who didn’t struggle as his two team-mates did at the Belgian circuit.

B3 Racing’s Mat’o Homola saw his first lap time deleted along with the two Leopard cars, but the Slovakian pulled out a time good enough for sixth with seconds remaining. Comini’s second run would see him set a time to secure eighth, but Vernay again breached track limits on his second lap and had his time deleted, putting him 12th and last in Q2, where he’ll start both races, ahead of the best-placed Peugeot of Jimmy Clairet.

The two one-off racers Antti Buri, driving for Team WRT, and Pierre-Yves Corthals, finished the session ninth and tenth and so secured pole position for race two, which takes place on Saturday.

The conventional grid sees Borkovic on pole, which gets underway at 17:30 CET today.