Photo: TCR Europe

Franco Girolami tops TCR Europe test at Salzburgring

Monlau Motorsport’s Franco Girolami was fastest in pre-event testing for round three of the TCR Europe season at the Salzburgring.

Aurélien Comte topped the three-hour morning session in his SP Competition-run Cupra León VZ TCR, setting a 1:32.518 to lead Goat Racing’s Felipe Fernández by just 0.026 seconds.

MA:GP’s Viktor Andersson was 0.336s behind in third place, and Monlau Motorsport’s Franco Girolami was the only other driver within a second of the pace as he trailed Comte by 0.494s.

The small 11-car field was covered by 4.761s, with ALM Motorsport’s Ruben Volt more than two-and-a-half seconds slower than anyone else as he set only 12 laps. Comte and Girolami did the most running, both completing 44 laps.

In the afternoon there was three-and-a-half hours of track action, and everyone improved their pace.

Girolami set a 1:24.906 to top the timesheet by 0.256s over ALM’s Ignacio Montenego (who was absent from the morning session) and 0.363s over Comte. Fernández dropped to fourth, 0.463s behind, and his team-mate Santiago Concepcio was a further 0.103s back in fifth.

Volt made up for his tricky morning by doing 57 laps and going sixth fastest, 0.901s off the top, and Ruben Fernández was seventh.

Monlau’s Viktor Davidovski, ALM’s Levente Losonczy and SP’s Giovanni Scamardi completed a top 10 spread by 2.225s, and behind them were Mair Racing Osttirol’s rookie Sandro Soubek and Andersson, the only two drivers not in a Cupra or a Honda. Andersson was 7.672s slower than Girolami and only completed 17 laps while six drivers did a half-century or more.

Drivers will be back on track on Saturday afternoon for the first practice session at 12:10 local time (CEST).