Photo: STC2000

Leonel Pernía leads Renault 1-2 in Buenos Aires qualifying race

Leonel Pernía won the Super TC2000 qualifying race in Buenos Aires, followed by Renault team-mate Matías Milla and Honda driver Juan Angel Rosso.

Renault Sport driver Facundo Ardusso was fastest in qualifying but started from seventh due to the championship standings grid penalties.

This meant that reigning champion Pernía started from pole ahead of Milla and Fiat driver Franco Girolami.

Girolami made a strong start and snatched the lead from Pernía who instead had to defend from Milla on the opening lap.

Pernía managed to reclaim the lead from Girolami on lap four following a mistake by the Fiat driver who braked too late entering turn three.

Bernardo Llaver suffered damage after colliding with Nicolás Moscardini while battling for seventh place. The Chevrolet driver got a puncture a couple of laps later and hit privateer Toyota driver Valentín Aguirre. The incident saw Llaver retiring in the pits while Aguirre rejoined the track at the back of the field.

Girolami meanwhile started to lose positions and had to pit to replace his steering wheel with what seemed to be paddle shift issues.

The safety car came out on track on lap ten after Hernán Palazzo collided with Toyota Gazoo Racing team-mate Rubens Barrichello. The incident was caused by Palazzo taking evasive action from a slow moving Matías Muñoz Marchesi.

The field was released three laps later with Pernia winning the race close to two seconds ahead of Milla and three seconds ahead of Rosso.

Juan Manuel Silva finished fourth ahead of Honda colleague Nicolás Moscardini and Toyota driver Matías Rossi.

Championship leader Agustín Canapino finished seventh ahead of Ardusso.

The feature race starts at 12:00 local time tomorrow.