Harald Proczyk takes shock pole as rain hits the Salzburgring
WestCoast Racing’s Austrian wild card Harald Proczyk took pole position on his TCR International Series debut at the Salzburgring, as the rain finally arrived during the first part of qualifying.
A number of front runners were banished to the back of the grid following technical issues at the start of the session. Michela Cerruti was unable to take part in her Mulsanne Racing Alfa Romeo following a throttle problem in FP2, while an unknown technical issue took out the Craft-Bamboo SEAT of James Nash at the start of the session.
Leopard Racing also were forced to make a last minute gearbox change on Stefano Comini’s Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, but with the rain falling after ten minutes, although the Swiss was able to hit the track in Q1, it wasn’t before the rain fell, and so he found himself qualifying down in 13th position.
As the rain continued to fall, the second part of qualifying was turned on its head, with the first laps the ones that counted, with Harald Proczyk setting a competitive lap of 1:38.767, which despite being 12 seconds off the pace of the B3 Racing SEAT of Attila Tassi’s time from Q1, was enough to secure him pole position on his series debut.
The weather played into the favour of the Volkswagen Golf of Jean-Karl Vernay, who had been struggling in the dry, with the Frenchman qualifying in second position, with championship leader Pepe Oriola putting his Craft-Bamboo SEAT third.
Gianni Morbidelli, who had topped FP1 and FP2 in the dry, qualified fourth in his WestCoast Racing Honda, while Attila Tassi secured pole position for the reversed grid race two after qualifying tenth, starting ahead of the other WestCoast Racing Honda of Mikhail Grachev.
Race 1 takes place at 12:35 CET on Sunday.