Photo: TCR South America

Fabricio Pezzini claims close pole position at San Juan

Fabricio Pezzini (Lynk & Co 03 TCR) claimed the pole position for the final round of the 2022 TCR South America season at San Juan, in a session marked by the strong winds crossing the Argentinian track.

Manuel Sapag of PMO Motorsport had to withdraw from the event after breaking two engines during the free practice sessions, leaving team-mate and series’ leader Pezzini only helped by Manuel Basso.

Bernardo Llaver (Cupra Leon Competición), racing in place of Aldeu Feldmann, who had been the fastest driver in the second free practice, dominated the Q1 with a lap time of 1:47.178, with Jorge Barrio (Toyota Corolla TCR) in second place, just three-tenths off the pace, with Pezzini in third.

They were accompanied into the Q2 session by Raphael Reis (Cupra Leon Competición), Jose Angel Rosso (Honda Civic), Javier Scuncio (Hyundai i30N TCR), Marcio Basso (Lynk & Co 03 TCR), Franco Farina, Fabio Casella and Figgo Bessone (Peugeot 308 TCR), Frederick Balbi (Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR) and Matias Cravero (Honda Civic Type R TCR).

The 10-minute Q2 session started with the twelve participants quickly taking to the track. Rosso was the first to establish a reference time, quickly followed by Llaver and Pezzini.

The championship aspirants, Pezzini, Rosso and Reis, opted for a tyre change with less than three minutes left on the clock, for a last shot at pole position.

But it was Pezzini who, with just one minute to go, rose to the top with a lap time of 1:47.053, followed by Reis, just 0.039 seconds behind. Barrio was third, 0.083 seconds off the pace.

Rosso and Llaver came next, both unable to improve in their final attempt, with Scuncio in sixth place, 0.983 seconds off the pace.

Farina qualified in seventh place, ahead of Casella, Cravero and Basso, who completed the top ten.

The TCR South America field returns to the track for Race 1 on Sunday morning at 9:00 local time (14:00 CEST).