Photo: Renault Sport Argentina

Leonel Pernía claims Paraná pole as drivers cancel laps to avoid penalty weight

Leonel Pernía claimed pole position for the Super TC 2000 round at Paraná, located in the Entre Ríos province of Argentina. The Renault Sport driver will be joined on the front row by Toyota Gazoo Racing Argentina’s Matías Rossi, with Honda Racing’s Ricardo Risatti starting third.

There was controversy in the final Super Qualifying session as three drivers chose not to set a competitive lap time to avoid penalty weight for the top four drivers, a new rule added for this race weekend.

“I need you to try to get the pole position,” ordered Honda Racing team owner Victor Rosso over the radio to Risatti, who at first seemed to try and stay in sixth position in order to avoid the weight.

Risatti improved his time to 1:28.526 to claim third. Chevrolet driver Bernardo Llaver was next and set a lap that was 0.6 seconds slower than the Honda driver to finish fourth.

Next up was Matías Milla of Renault Sport who just completed an installation lap and went back into pits. Renault team-mate Facundo Ardusso completed a very slow lap of over two minutes to be classified as fifth.

Pernía claimed pole position with a lap time of 1:27.464, beating Rossi by 0.136 seconds and Risatti by just over one second.

The top four drivers will carry 70, 60, 55 and 50kg respectively for the race of tomorrow.

Renault driver Facundo Conta was closest to make it to the final qualifying session and will start seventh ahead of team-mate Facundo Chapur, Chevrolet driver Tomás Gagliardi Genné and Fiat driver Matías Muñoz Marchesi.

The race starts at 12:00 local time tomorrow.