Jack Young strikes late to secure maide TCR Europe pole at Zandvoort
Brutal Fish Racing’s Jack Young claimed his maiden TCR Europe series pole position at Zandvoort following an epic duel with local star Tom Coronel.
Young went into Q2 having topped the first segment of qualifying and looked like the driver to beat in the closing stages before Coronel went fastest inside the final seconds.
But the British driver responded with the fastest overall middle sector to claim pole by just eight-hundredths of a second.
Sami Taoufik finished the session 10th quickest in his Sébastien Loeb Racing Hyundai Elantra N and will start Race 2 from pole alongside team-mate Niels Langeveld.
Young came out of the blocks early on with the fastest time of 1:44.582, some three-tenths quicker than FP1 pacesetter Coronel, while defending series champion Mehdi Bennani was third.
Much like in practice, the margins at the top were incredibly close, with PSS Racing’s Franco Girolami improving to go top by just five-hundredths of a second in his Honda Civic Type-R, while Comtoyou Racing’s Nicolas Baert was not far behind in third.
In the final flyers, Young improved again to end the first segment on top of the standings, with a 1:44.166, nearly three-tenths quicker than Coronel who improved to second.
Missing out on a place in Q2 was the Team Clairet Sport Peugeot’s of Teddy Clairet, who admitted on Friday to TouringCarTimes that he faced a ‘difficult weekend’ ahead of them following changes to the weight compensation.
He ended up 13th for each of this weekend’s races, while brother Jimmy just scraped into Q2 in 12th.
Another to fail to make the cut for the second segment of qualifying was Girolami’s PSS Racing team-mate Viktor Davidovski, who lines up 14th, while Mat’o Homola could only manage 15th in his Janík Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR.
Having kicked off where he started in Q1, Young was the first driver to lay down a benchmark in the second session, with a 1:43.763.
Coronel was second before the field came into the pits following their first runs, setting the fastest overall first sector of all, to be just two-tenths behind the Honda.
The Dutchman briefly held pole position after his final lap of the session, going just one-hundredth of a second quicker than Young, but the Honda driver responded to seal the top spot by a mere eight-hundredths.
Behind Coronel, Borković ended up third, some eight-tenths adrift of the leading two, with Nicolas Baert making it three Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMSs in the top four.
Bennani will start the first race from fifth, in a big boost to his title aspirations with points leader Mikel Azcona absent this weekend.
Young’s team-mate Isidro Callejas will start sixth on the grid, and of Girolami, while Jimmy Clairet will start eighth in his Team Clairet Sport Peugeot 308TCR.
Sébastien Loeb Racing Hyundai duo Niels Langeveld and Sami Taoufik line up ninth and 10th, but in doing so secured a front-row lock-out for Sunday’s second race.
Race 1 at Zandvoort is scheduled to start at 17:20 CEST.