Photo: STC2000

Leonel Pernía moves closer to maiden title with season finale pole position

Renault Sport driver Leonel Pernía claimed pole position after being fastest of both qualifying sessions of the season finale at Centenario, Neuquén, claiming five vital points to his championship lead. Main title rival Matías Rossi of Toyota Gazoo Racing Argentina will start from fifth.

The Q1 session saw Pernía setting a fastest lap time of 1:28.684, leading Chevrolet driver Agustín Canapino, Toyota’s Julián Santero and Renault’s Facundo Ardusso. They were joined by Toyota driver Matías Rossi and Renault’s Matías Milla for the Q2 session.

Pernía earned two points for his fastest time in Q1, increasing his lead over Rossi from seven to nine points.

Pernía set a lap time of 1:29.089 in the Q2 session, enough to take pole position and add another three points, increasing the gap to Rossi in the standings to 12 points.

The Renault driver will start the race from the front row alongside Chevrolet driver Canapino, who was just 67 thousands of a second behind in second. Ardusso was third fastest, just below three tenths behind, with Santero in fourth, 0.305 seconds from pole.

Toyota’s title hope Rossi was fifth fastest, over eighth tenths of a second behind, and the team stated after the session that they noted a loss of power in the engine. Renault driver Milla was sixth and last of the Q2 drivers.

Mariano Altuna of Toyota, Facundo Conta of Renault Sport, Mariano Werner of Fiat Racing and Ricardo Risatti of Honda Racing completed the top ten.

Pernía will be able to claim his first Super TC 2000 title if he finishes in the top four, no matter where Rossi finishes. The race is scheduled for 12:00 local time on Sunday.