Jonas Karklys storms to Race 2 pole position at the Red Bull Ring
Jonas Karklys maintained his strong Red Bull Ring pace this weekend by claiming pole position for the second race of the weekend.
Despite set the fastest time in Saturday’s first qualifying session, Karklys was forced to start Race 1 from the back of the grid after changing the engine on his NordPass Hyundai i30 N TCR.
But the Lithuanian driver made amends by posting a time of 1:36.676 to end up nearly three-tenths clear of nearest rival, Team Engstler’s Szymon Ladniak.
Ladniak’s team-mate Martin Andersen will start third alongside Race 1 winner Jessica Bäckman.
Unlike on Saturday, conditions at the Austrian track were almost perfect, with Ladniak setting the initial benchmark time of 1:37.202 in his Honda Civic Type-R.
The Polish driver was the quickest in the first sector of the lap and the Honda appeared to be working well around the 10-turn circuit, as Andersen popped up into second place, just over half a second in arrears of Ladniak.
Then it was the turn of the Hyundais to flex their muscles, as Robin Jahr moved into third ahead of Bäckman.
Bäckman then improved to third as Karklys went second quickest with his first representative lap-time of the session.
Ultimately, Karklys’ penultimate lap proved to be his, and the session’s, fastest time with around three minutes remaining.
Neither Ladniak nor Andersen could manage an improvement, while Jahr spoilt his final attempt after running into the gravel at Turn 4.
Behind Bäckman in fifth was the impressive Max Gruhn in his Audi RS 3 LMS TCR, who finished ahead of Jahr.
Patrick Sing was seventh quickest, ahead of Roland Hertner and Michael Maurer in his Holden Astra TCR.
After retiring with mechanical dramas in the opening race, Vincent Radermecker had a difficult session in the second Maurer Motorsport Holden, qualifying 11th and last, over 11 seconds off the pace.
Race 2 is scheduled to take place later on today at 15:25 CEST.