Rob Huff doubles up with pole position again for Macau Race 3
Rob Huff followed up his pole position from this morning with another pole for the final race of the weekend in his Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen, again fighting off the Honda of Esteban Guerrieri.
YMR had successfully completed the repairs to Thed Björk’s Hyundai i30 N TCR after his off at Fisherman’s Bend in the first qualifying session, although the car wasn’t 100% and perfectly on the pace.
Huff led the way through both Q1 and Q2 and showed from the start he was going to be on his way through into the top five shootout in his Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
There was drama however, when championship leader Gabriele Tarquini crashed out his BRC Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR at Lisboa, and was winched away, leaving him down in 12th for both of Sunday’s races.
Thed Björk also missed the top 12 cut-off in his YMR Hyundai and qualified in 13th, just ahead of Tarquini.
In the second part of qualifying, Rob led the way again with a time of 2:29.207 set on his first run. Both the Comtoyou Audi of Nathanael Berthon and Huff’s team-mate Mehdi Bennani were on an alternative approach and set their times after their ten rivals had set theirs.
Unfortunately for Bennani, he lost control of his Volkswagen at Moorish hill and ran into the barriers, bringing out the red flag with just under three minutes to go.
The session wasn’t resumed, which locked Yvan Muller just outside of the top five in sixth, with the Frenchman set to gain ground on title rival Tarquini, while the Münnich Honda of Timo Scheider, despite being technically the slowest car in Q2, will start the reversed grid Race 2 from pole position.
During the one-lap shootout, Esteban Guerrieri set down a firm banker lap, which was unbeaten by the three cars that followed, but Huff was unstoppable, even despite grazing the wall at Moorish and damaging the car’s wing mirror.
The Brit set a time of 2:29.660, four-tenths clear of Guerrieri, with BRC Racing Team’s Norbert Michelisz the fastest for the South Korean marque in third, with Jean-Karl Vernay’s WRT Audi fourth and the other Münnich Honda of Yann Ehrlacher completing the top five.
The first race of the weekend is scheduled for 14:25 CST tomorrow (07:25 CET).