Norbert Michelisz

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Gabriele Tarquini sensationally stole the Race 1 DHL Pole Position from team-mate Norbert Michelisz at WTCR Race of Slovakia with a big final lap as the action in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO hotted up at the Slovakia Ring on Friday.

The Italian touring car legend set a time of 2m09.312s to knock his BRC Racing team-mate Michelisz off the top spot by 0.352s to secure his second DHL Pole Position of the WTCR season.

WTCR points leader Yvan Muller completed a Hyundai i30 N TCR clean sweep of the top three times in his YMR entry. The Frenchman just pipped the DG Sport Compétition PEUGEOT 308TCR of Aurélien Comte to P3.

Team OSCARO by Campos Racing’s Pepe Oriola carried over his promising free practice form into qualifying by setting the fifth best time in his Cupra TCR. The Spaniard was just faster than the first of the Honda Civic Type R TCRs, as ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri managed P6.

Vila Real Race 3 winner Thed Björk was in P7 in his YMR Hyundai, but the Swede will start Race 1 from the back of the grid following a pre-event engine change.

Jean-Karl Vernay was the best of the Audi RS 3 LMS drivers with a time good enough for P8 in his Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team entry. He was just ahead of Boutsen Ginion Racing’s Tom Coronel who had been fastest in the first practice session at the 5.922km circuit this morning.

Yann Ehrlacher completed the top 10 in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda, ahead of local hero and Vila Real Race 2 winner Mato Homola in his DG Sport Compétition  PEUGEOT. Aurélien Panis was next to head Denis Dupont and Nathanaël Berthon in a trio of Audis.

Fabrizio Giovanardi was P15 in Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR, ahead of Belgians Benjamin Lessennes and Frédéric Vervisch.

Triple British Touring Car Champion Gordon Shedden was a frustrated P20, after a session in which he struggled to manhandle a time out of his Audi. He was one place behind ‘wildcard’ entry Petr Fulín, the Czech just cracking the top 20 in his Fullin Race Academy Cupra TCR.

Fellow ‘wildcard’ Andrej Studenic was P25 in his Brutal Fish Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, just behind the Sébastien Loeb Racing Golfs of Rob Huff and Mehdi Bennani who continue to dial in their new cars following their huge crash in Vila Real.

John Filippi propped up the list after briefly stopping the session in the opening moments with a spin into the gravel in his Team OSCARO by Campos Racing Cupra TCR.

Race 1 of WTCR Race of Slovakia takes place on Saturday at 12h00 local time.