Photo: TCR Europe

Kobe Pauwels fastest in TCR World Tour’s second Spa practice session

Comtoyou Racing’s Kobe Pauwels was fastest in the second of the free practice sessions for the joint TCR World Tour and TCR Europe event at Spa-Francorchamps.

BRC Racing’s Mikel Azcona set the pace at first, and was already back in the pits by the time he was beaten by RC2 Racing Team’s Felipe Fernández after ten minutes had passed in the half-hour session

Fernández then picked up a track limits warning at the high-speed Blanchimont left-hander, being one of many to do so, with others also running wide at the final chicane.

Pauwels jumped up to second, 0.287 seconds off Fernández’s pace, then his team-mate Tom Coronel went 1.197s faster than everyone.

His gap was quickly slashed by Cyan Racing’s Thed Björk to 0.277s, with Lynk & Co 03 TCRs filling second to fifth place.

Frédéric Vervisch made it an Audi one-two again at the session’s halfway point, then ALM Motorsport’s Néstor Girolami became only the second driver after Coronel to lap in the 2m30s with just over ten minutes remaining.

There were few improvements in pace after that, and Férnandez was shown the black-and-white flag for repeated track limits abuse.

Target Competition’s Dušan Borković put his Hyundai Elantra N TCR in second place by getting within 0.019s of Coronel, then he was shuffled down to third in the final three minutes as Pauwels utilised clean air to go fastest in sector one and then set the fastest lap overall by 0.130s.

Vervisch improved his pace but remained in fifth, only to then be pipped by Comtoyou team-mate John Filippi. That meant the session ended with four Audis in the top six, sandwiching Borković and Girolami into third and fourth.

A notable absence from the top ten was Cyan Racing’s Santiago Urrutia, who was unable to make the most of the track gripping up as a throttle issue meant he spent most of the final ten minutes on the jacks in pitlane.

There was also some drama with Aggressive Team Italia’s Levente Losonczy, who took to track with ‘64’ on the side of his car although he had requested to be entered as ‘264’ and had not got around to adding the extra digit to the car number on the side windows.

Next up is qualifying, starting at 10:40 CEST on Saturday.