Photo: TCR Series

Gabriele Tarquini takes pole position for the TCR Europe race at Adria

Hyundai’s Gabriele Tarquini secured pole position for the inaugural TCR Europe Trophy race at the Adria Raceway, leading the qualifying session by two-tenths of a second over TCR Germany and Middle East champion Josh Files in the Target Competition Honda Civic.

Tarquini had topped the first part of qualifying to safely secure the i30 N TCR a spot in Qualifying 2, leading the way ahead of Team WRT driver Maxime Potty and Target’s Josh Files.

Files’ team-mate Giacomo Altoè was fastest during the first five minutes of the second part of qualifying, but the 17-year-old’s time was soon decimated as the 55-year-old went fastest of all with a time of 1:19.341, the fastest of the weekend.

A late improvement by Files moved him up to second, just two-tenths behind Tarquini, with the BRC Racing Team celebrating the first pole position for Hyundai in the first session it has technically been eligible to do so.

Altoè will start third, with Luca Engstler the best-placed of all the Volkswagen drivers in fourth, eight-tenths of a second behind, with Luiga Ferrara fifth fastest in the V-Action Racing Team Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

Team WRT’s Maxime Potty was sixth fastest ahead of the fastest of the Audis, that of LMS Racing’s Antti Buri, with TCR Iberian champion Francisco Abreu eighth fastest for Team Novadriver.

Aurélien Comte was ninth fastest in the DG Sport Compétition Peugeot 308, with Florian Thoma tenth in the Engstler Volkswagen, which gives the Swiss driver pole position for the reversed grid second race.

Plamen Kralev missed the top ten in his Kraf Racing Audi RS 3 LMS, with Giovanni Altoè, brother of Giacomo, the top qualifying DSG-equipped driver in 12th.

The first race is scheduled for 12:35 CET tomorrow