Photo: TCR Europe

John Filippi leads Audi 1-2-3-4 to his first TCR Europe pole since 2022 at Paul Ricard

John Filippi claimed his first TCR Europe pole position since 2022 in qualifying at Paul Ricard.

The first segment of the session belonged to his Comtoyou Racing team-mate Kobe Pauwels, who set a 2:12.975 lap early on that could not be beaten.

ALM Motorsport’s Ruben Volt got within half a second of Pauwels in the final two minutes of Q1, but there was otherwise little change in the order after the first flying laps had been set.

SP Compétition’s Aurélien Comte was third fastest, 0.529 seconds slower than Pauwels, and closely matched behind him were Comtoyou drivers Filippi and Tom Coronel. With 14 cars present, it meant the only two drivers not to progress to Q2 were Volcano Motorsport’s Daniel Tkachenko and SC Compétition’s debuting Sacha Bottemanne who were both over two seconds off the pace.

Comtoyou’s Nicola Baldan was fastest at first in Q2, as most drivers left it late to show their pace. When the chequered flag waved, most drivers had only completed one flying lap and it was Filippi who was on top with a 2:12.408.

A nobody improved on their final laps, with many aborting them and heading to the pits despite fast first sectors, it meant Filippi ended qualifying having taken pole by 0.186s over points-leading team-mate Tom Coronel.

Pauwels was only 0.296s back in third, with Baldan completing a Comtoyou lockout of the top four places.

Comte was best of the rest in fifth, a sizeable 0.967s off pole and only 0.007s ahead of Volcano’s Lewis Brown in sixth. A further 0.023s behind was Volt.

Not setting a lap in Q2, and therefore qualifying 12th, was Target Competition’s Marco Butti.

The first race of the weekend starts at 19:05 CEST today.