Photo: TCR Italy

Iannotta on pole as TCR Italy qualifying punctuated by two big crashes

MM Motorsport’s Marco Iannotta claimed TCR Italy pole at Imola in a qualifying session twice stopped by crashes.

Before the first red flag period only a small group of drivers were able to set a flying lap, and it was Target Competition’s Niels Langeveled who set the initial pace in his Hyundai Elantra N TCR.

Lema Racing’s Giacomo Ghermandi was the driver who caused the first stoppage, his Cupra León Competición ending up against the barriers after he crashed out.

There was a 10-minute gap before qualifying resumed, and Estonians Ruben Volt and Mattias Vahtel jumped up to second and third place behind the improving Langaveld.

Although he continued to find more pace, he was eventually demoted from top spot as team-mate Cesare Brusa pipped him by 0.047 seconds.

At this point Iannotta had risen to third place, and going into the final 10 minutes of qualifying it was he and team-mate Carlo Tamburini who became the drivers to beat in their Honda Civics.

They went one-two, and although Langaveld was able to separate them and get within 0.043s of pole, Iannotta responded by going even faster.

That put pressure on Langeveld to respond, but he went too wide at turn 15 and had his lap deleted over track limits, which guaranteed Iannotta pole before the second session-ending red flag period as Ettore Carminati crashed at turn nine.

The first race of the weekend starts at 17:20 CEST.