WTCR Adria: Ehrlacher stretches WTCR points lead with first 2021 pole

Yann Ehrlacher extended his World Touring Car Cup championship lead by clinching his first pole position of 2021 and a maximum points haul in qualifying at the revamped Adria circuit.

WTCR Adria: Ehrlacher stretches WTCR points lead with first 2021 pole

The reigning champion scored five points by going fastest in the Q1 session, then added five more by heading the Q3 shootout and claiming pole position for race two on Sunday, at the penultimate weekend of the season.

The Cyan Racing Lynk & Co driver is now 26 points ahead of nearest rival Jean-Karl Vernay, who suffered a disaster by failing to progress beyond Q1. The Engstler Hyundai driver complained of being held too long in the pitlane for a weight check.

“It’s difficult to be politically correct,” he said. “Free practice two went well and we were optimistic.

“But I have to thank the marshal who stopped me for three minutes and I only managed a run on one set of tyres. It’s not very fair. We have lost everything.”

Belgian Frederic Vervisch topped the 10-minute Q2 session and ended up as Ehrlacher’s closest challenger in the shootout. The Comtoyou Audi driver was the first to run, but Erhlacher proved faster in the first two sectors of the lap and finished with a time of 1m49.347s – 0.163s faster than Vervisch.

“It was a good day,” said a delighted Ehrlacher. “The aim of this weekend was to maximise what we could score.

“It is never easy to adapt to a new circuit and the pressure is building up, but I am pleased with the work we have done today and now we have to keep scoring.”

Yann Ehrlacher, Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR

Yann Ehrlacher, Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR

Photo by: WTCR

Vervisch remains fourth in the points behind Esteban Guerrieri, who only qualified ninth in his Munnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R.

“We are still trying to win the championship, but Yann has taken some good points today,” Vervisch said. “We did a good job, but it was not good enough.

“I thought we might be more competitive. We keep pushing in the races and we had strong pace last time in France.”

Thed Bjork and Yvan Muller made it three Lynk & Cos in the top five, with Comtoyou’s Gilles Magnus splitting them in fourth.

Gabriele Tarquini’s qualifying ended in disappointment on home soil, a day after he announced his intention to retire at the end of the season.

The 59-year-old made it through to Q2 as the ninth fastest, but ended Q1 in a gravel trap and he was unable to take further part in the rest of qualifying. He will line up 12th for race one.

Cyan Performance Lynk & Co’s Santiago Urrutia claimed the partially reversed grid pole position for race one by setting the 10th fastest time in Q2.

“I was quick in Q1 and scored points [for setting the second fastest time to Ehrlacher],” he said.

“Then for my team-mates to qualify up front and for me to be 10th is good. Our strategy worked very well.”

WTCR Adria Qualifying Result:

Cla Driver Chassis Time Gap
1 France Yann Ehrlacher Lynk & Co 1'49.347  
2 Belgium Frederic Vervisch Audi 1'49.510 0.163
3 Sweden Thed Björk Lynk & Co 1'49.515 0.168
4 Belgium Gilles Magnus Audi 1'50.028 0.681
5 France Yvan Muller Lynk & Co 1'50.656 1.309
shares
comments

Related video

Touring car legend Tarquini announces retirement at 59
Previous article

Touring car legend Tarquini announces retirement at 59

Next article

WTCR Adria: Ehrlacher closes on WTCR title with victory

WTCR Adria: Ehrlacher closes on WTCR title with victory
Load comments
The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59 Plus

The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59

OPINION: It's not often that a driver achieves widespread affection for their personality, as well as their on-track performances. One such individual is Gabriele Tarquini, who will soon bring the curtain down on a remarkable career that has yielded touring car titles on the European and global stage - and, famously, in Britain too

BTCC
Nov 11, 2021
Why the new electric tin-top series deserves to be taken seriously Plus

Why the new electric tin-top series deserves to be taken seriously

The new Pure ETCR series will get underway at Vallelunga this weekend featuring great looking cars, top drivers and real tracks. Its format is wacky, but it exists in an era when its petrol-fuelled brethren are all artificially contrived, and has the potential to move the tin-top game on

WTCR
Jun 17, 2021
The tin-top champion who doesn't know the meaning of retirement Plus

The tin-top champion who doesn't know the meaning of retirement

The news is out that three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx is stepping down from full-time racing. But he's still got plenty of mileage left him in yet, and his son has much more

WTCR
Jun 16, 2020
The phoenix driver who is at peace with his defeats Plus

The phoenix driver who is at peace with his defeats

Esteban Guerrieri spent years trying to make it in single-seaters, and came closer than you'd think to making it to F1. Now he's forging a successful tin-top career, but it's his philosophical approach to defeat and personal growth that is truly impressive

WTCR
Jan 13, 2020
The surprise team orders twisting a world title battle Plus

The surprise team orders twisting a world title battle

Team orders in major touring car racing are nothing unusual with manufacturer honour at stake. But in the 2019 World Touring Cars title fight, one team is raising eyebrows with the choices it is making

WTCR
Nov 18, 2019
The 'weapon' clash that turned a world title battle bitter Plus

The 'weapon' clash that turned a world title battle bitter

Emotions ran high at Suzuka last weekend between two teams gunning for global tin-top bragging rights, and little has been done to cool those tensions since. While that's great news for WTCR, is there a danger of both outfits losing sight of their main aim?

WTCR
Nov 2, 2019
How WTCR's last real independent has stayed in play Plus

How WTCR's last real independent has stayed in play

The World Touring Car Cup has gone from strength to strength for 2019 - but one small team in particular is proving time and again that it merits a place alongside the series' big hitters

WTCR
Apr 23, 2019
The lessons World Touring Cars must heed from history Plus

The lessons World Touring Cars must heed from history

The WTCR has made a massive step up in quality ahead of its second season in its current format, but as manufacturers start to lock horns is it already in danger of repeating other great touring car series' mistakes?

WTCR
Apr 5, 2019