For the second consecutive event, Leopard Racing locked out the front row for Race 1. After Rob Huff and Jean-Karl Vernay qualified first and second in Zhejiang, TCR newcomer Gordon Shedden and Vernay claimed the same result today at Dubai in the TCR International Series finale.
Once again it was an extremely close session, with 17 cars in the same second.
The result also meant that Vernay moved even closer to securing the Drivers’ title. The four points for second place in Qualifying helped the Frenchman to stretch his lead in the standing to 25 points ahead of Attila Tassi, who will start the second race from pole position thanks to the reverse top-ten grid. Now Vernay has a great opportunity to wrap up the title fight in Race 1, especially since the Honda cars struggled to be on the pace with both Josh Files and Roberto Colciago failing to go through to Q2.
On his first TCR appearance, Shedden was able to claim pole position. Using his vast experience in touring car racing, the triple BTCC champion completed a perfect lap in Q2. Which was also something of a surprise, considering that he had been the last driver to make the cut in Q1, only 26 thousandths of a second faster than Files.
Benjamin Leuchter provided the icing on the cake for Volkswagen Motorsport, placing his WestCoast Racing Golf GTI in third position. It was a great result for the young German driver, winner of the TCR class in the VLN endurance series.
The two Hyundai i30 N cars of Gabriele Tarquini and Alain Menu will start both races from 13th and 14th as they are still running with a temporary homologation form and therefore were not eligible to qualify for Q2. They posted the second (Tarquini) and fourth (Menu) fastest laps in Q1 and the whole paddock is curious to see if they will be able to elbow their way through the field, just like Tarquini did in China where he won Race 1.
Pos No. Name Nat Car Q1 Lap Q2 Lap
1 73 Gordon SHEDDEN GBR Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR 1:28.965 5 1:27.849 3
2 2 Jean-Karl VERNAY FRA Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR 1:28.457 5 1:28.045 4
3 13 Benjamin LEUCHTER GER Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR 1:28.425 9 1:28.119 3
4 74 Pepe ORIOLA ESP Seat Leon TCR 1:28.731 4 1:28.179 3
5 10 Gianni MORBIDELLI ITA Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR 1:28.709 8 1:28.195 6
6 4 Denis DUPONT BEL Seat Leon TCR 1:28.154 6 1:28.256 2
7 27 Aurelien COMTE FRA Opel Astra TCR 1:28.892 7 1:28.364 2
8 17 Daniel LLOYD GBR Seat Leon TCR 1:28.642 8 1:28.623 3
9 1 Stefano COMINI SUI Audi RS 3 LMS TCR 1:28.596 8 1:28.674 2
10 9 Attila TASSI HUN Honda Civic Type-R TCR 1:28.686 7 1:28.689 3
11 54 James NASH GBR Seat Leon TCR 1:28.883 11 1:28.752 4
12 6 Frederic VERVISCH BEL Audi RS 3 LMS TCR 1:28.796 7 1:28.794 2
13 30 Gabriele TARQUINI ITA Hyundai i30 N TCR 1:28.403 9
14 33 Alain MENU SUI Hyundai i30 N TCR 1:28.431 4
15 95 Josh FILES GBR Honda Civic Type-R TCR 1:28.991 3
16 62 Dusan BORKOVIC SRB Alfa Romeo Giuliettta TCR 1:29.067 7
17 70 Mat O’HOMOLA SVK Opel Astra TCR 1:29.253 5
18 5 Roberto COLCIAGO ITA Honda Civic Type-R TCR 1:29.319 6
19 28 Aurelien PANIS FRA Honda Civic Type-R TCR 1:29.461 8
20 16 Davit KAJAIA GEO Alfa Romeo Giuliettta TCR 1:29.965 3
21 18 Duncan ENDE USA Seat Leon TCR 1:30.296