Norbert Michelisz

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Rob Huff will start from the DHL Pole Position for Race 1 at WTCR Race of Netherlands after winning a tight qualifying battle with Yann Ehrlacher in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO at Zandvoort on Sunday morning.

Huff’s Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR set a time of 1m43.945s to beat Ehrlacher’s ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR to the top spot by just 0.113s.

“A huge thanks to Sébastien Loeb Racing and Volkswagen,” said Huff, whose car required significant repairs after crashing out at the Nürburgring last week. “I managed two really good laps. We deserve this. The boys have worked so hard.

“Hopefully this afternoon I’ll be gone and not looking back. We need lots of points.”

Huff led most of the session, although Ehrlacher – quickest in the first free practice session yesterday – pushed him hard for the top spot, the Frenchman jumping to the head of the times twice before Huff banked the performance he needed to secure the DHL Pole Position.

Behind the pair, triple British Touring Car Champion Gordon Shedden was third, his Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team Audi RS 3 LMS heading team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay. Belgian teenager Benjamin Lessennes was next in his Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda.

Comtoyou Racing’s Nathanaël Berthon was P6 in his Audi, ahead of Aurélien Comte who consolidated his strong practice form in his DG Sport Competition PEUGEOT 308TCR.

There was good news for the huge, enthusiastic Zandvoort crowd as popular local hero Tom Coronel enjoyed an upturn in fortunes after a difficult practice day. The Dutchman will line up a promising eighth in Race 1 this afternoon in his Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda.

Comtoyou Racing’s Aurélien Panis was P9, with Esteban Guerrieri – fastest in the second practice session yesterday – surprisingly propping up the top 10 in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda.

The Hyundai i30 N TCRs continued to struggle at Zandvoort, following changes to the Balance of Performance for this weekend. Norbert Michelisz was the best of the quartet down in P14 for BRC Racing Team. YMR duo Thed Björk and WTCR points leader Yvan Muller languished in P19 and P21 respectively, while Gabriele Tarquini’s BRC entry will start behind them in P24.

Wildcard entries Michael Verhagen and Prince Bernhard van Oranje were P25 and P27 in their all-orange Bas Koeten Racing Audis.

The session was red flagged briefly after 10 of the 30 minutes when Zengő Motorsport’s Zsolt Zsabó crashed his Cupra TCR into the tyre barriers in sector 2 of the 4.307-kilometre circuit.

Race 1 of WTCR Race of Netherlands takes place on Sunday afternoon at 16h20 local time.