Photo: TCR South America

Reis and Barrio claims endurance race pole at Termas de Rio Hondo

W2 Pro Motorsport drivers Raphael Reis and Jorge Barrio claimed the pole position for Sunday’s TCR South America race at Termas de Rio Hondo (Argentina), the first endurance event of the 2023 season.

The session started with the turn of the guest drivers, with Jorge Barrio leading in the early stages with Damian Fineschi in second place, driving a Peugeot 308TCR from PMO Racing.

Gastón Iansa was third with the Toyota Corolla TCR, shared with Bernardo Llaver (Toyota Team Argentina), with Rodrigo Baptista, teaming up with his uncle Adalberto, in fourth for Cobra Racing Team.

After the chequered flag, the regular drivers took over for the final 15-minute session.

Bernardo Llaver was the first to establish a reference time, but Facundo Marques (Peugeot 308TCR) jumped to the top spot, as Reis climbed up to second place.

Montenegro was determined to improve his grid spot, setting the third fastest lap time on his first attempt.

The leading drivers returned to the pits for a tyre change ahead of the last challenge for the pole position.

Reis was fastest in the Q2 session, claiming the pole position together with Barrio with a combined lap time of 3:39.338, beating the pair of Marques and Fineschi by 0.392 seconds.

Llaver and Iansa took the third spot, followed by Rafael Suzuki and Matías Signorelli, driving a Lynk & Co 03 TCR from PMO Motorsport.

PMO Motorsport team-mates Frederick Balbi and Matías Russo qualified in fifth place, followed by Montenegro and Russel.

José Manuel Sapag and Marcelo Ciarrocchi, sharing a Toyota Corolla TCR, qualified in seventh place, followed by the Honda Civic Type R TCR from Squadra Martino driven by Juan Manuel Casella and Matías Milla.

Enrique Maglione and Rodrigo Aramendia came next for Squadra Martino, with Fabian Yannantuoni and Pabricio Pezzini sharing a Toyota Corolla TCR from Paladini Racing in tenth place.

The one-hour race is due to start at 11:25 local time on Sunday morning (16:25 CEST). The teams will have now to notify which driver will start the race, with an obligatory driver change between laps 15 and 21 in the race.