Zandvoort WTCR: Vernay takes pole for WRT Audi ahead of Huff

WRT Audi driver Jean-Karl Vernay grabbed pole for the final World Touring Car Cup race at Zandvoort, beating Rob Huff to the fastest time in shootout qualifying

Zandvoort WTCR: Vernay takes pole for WRT Audi ahead of Huff

Vernay was the only driver to dip under the 1m44s mark in Monday's qualifying on his sole shootout run, which proved enough to secure pole by a comfortable margin of almost half a second.

The 2017 TCR International Series champion, who will start Monday morning's reversed-grid race two from the back of the grid after an engine change, was one of three Audi drivers to make the final part of qualifying.

Running third, Vernay smashed the previous best shootout effort from team-mate Gordon Shedden with his lap of the 2.67-mile circuit by almost six tenths of a second, finding half of that advantage in sector one.

Vernay was then guaranteed his and Audi's first WTCR pole when Q2 pacesetter Frederic Vervisch (Comtoyou Audi) pulled up in the first sector on his shootout lap.

Huff had been second fastest in the second part of qualifying in his Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi, but a moment of oversteer at the Turn 3 Hugenholtz on his shootout lap cost him the best part of half a second.

The Briton was at least able to salvage a place on the front row of the grid, with a fastest second sector of all helping him to pip the second WRT Audi of Shedden - who will start from third for a second day in a row.

Having attempted his qualifying lap, Vervisch will start the finale from fourth ahead of the leading Honda of Esteban Guerrieri.

Munnich Motorsport driver Guerrieri stepped from his Civic before the start of his shootout run and did not attempt a lap.

His race one winning team-mate Yann Ehrlacher was the fastest driver to miss the Q3 shootout cut so starts sixth.

The 21-year-old had moved up to fourth with his final lap in Q2, going 0.018 seconds slower than Guerrieri, but further improvements from Huff and Vernay pushed Ehrlacher out.

Huff's SLR team-mate Mehdi Bennani and the Campos Racing Cupra of Pepe Oriola will be next up.

James Thompson left it late to set a time in the second part of qualifying, but his final effort was good enough to elevate him to 10th in the order - giving him pole for the reversed-grid race in his Munnich Motorsport Civic.

Race one runner-up Aurelien Comte will share the front row in that race with Thompson in his DG Sport Peugeot 308TCR.

The Hyundai drivers struggled for pace once again, with all four failing to advance to the second part of qualifying.

Yvan Muller - whose car was rebuilt overnight after his race one shunt with Norbert Michelisz - was the fastest of the i30 N drivers in 18th, but he still ended up the best part of half a second away from a Q2 spot.

The four-time World Touring Car champion's YMR team-mate Thed Bjork was a place further behind, with Michelisz 20th and Gabriele Tarquini 22nd.

Home favourite Tom Coronel was 24th - having qualified eighth a day earlier - ahead of wildcard Prince Bernhard van Oranje (Bas Koeten Racing Audi RS3 LMS).

Race two grid

Pos Driver Team Car
1 James Thompson Munnich Motorsport Honda
2 Aurelien Comte DG Sport Competition Peugeot
3 Pepe Oriola Campos Racing Cupra
4 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen
5 Yann Ehrlacher Munnich Motorsport Honda
6 Esteban Guerrieri Munnich Motorsport Honda
7 Frederic Vervisch Comtoyou Racing Audi
8 Gordon Shedden WRT Audi
9 Rob Huff Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen
10 John Filippi Campos Racing Cupra
11 Aurelien Panis Comtoyou Racing Audi
12 Denis Dupont Comtoyou Racing Audi
13 Benjamin Lessennes Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda
14 Nathanael Berthon Comtoyou Racing Audi
15 Fabrizio Giovanardi Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo
16 Gianni Morbidelli Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo
17 Yvan Muller YMR Hyundai
18 Thed Bjork YMR Hyundai
19 Mat'o Homola DG Sport Competition Peugeot
20 Gabriele Tarquini BRC Racing Team Hyundai
21 Norbert Nagy Zengo Motorsport Cupra
22 Tom Coronel Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda
23 Bernhard van Oranje Bas Koeten Racing Audi
24 Zsolt Szabo Zengo Motorsport Cupra
25 Michael Verhagen Bas Koeten Racing Audi
26 Norbert Michelisz BRC Racing Team Hyundai
27 Jean-Karl Vernay WRT Audi

Race three grid

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Jean-Karl Vernay WRT Audi 1m43.994s -
2 Rob Huff Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen 1m44.453s 0.459s
3 Gordon Shedden WRT Audi 1m44.590s 0.596s
4 Frederic Vervisch Comtoyou Racing Audi - -
5 Esteban Guerrieri Munnich Motorsport Honda - -
6 Yann Ehrlacher Munnich Motorsport Honda 1m44.483s -
7 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen 1m44.592s -
8 Pepe Oriola Campos Racing Cupra 1m44.642s -
9 Aurelien Comte DG Sport Competition Peugeot 1m44.922s -
10 James Thompson Munnich Motorsport Honda 1m44.972s -
11 John Filippi Campos Racing Cupra 1m45.040s -
12 Aurelien Panis Comtoyou Racing Audi 1m45.141s -
13 Denis Dupont Comtoyou Racing Audi 1m45.206s -
14 Benjamin Lessennes Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda 1m45.257s -
15 Nathanael Berthon Comtoyou Racing Audi 1m45.303s -
16 Fabrizio Giovanardi Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 1m45.348s -
17 Gianni Morbidelli Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 1m45.511s -
18 Thed Bjork YMR Hyundai 1m45.640s -
19 Norbert Michelisz BRC Racing Team Hyundai 1m45.758s -
20 Mat'o Homola DG Sport Competition Peugeot 1m45.774s -
21 Norbert Nagy Zengo Motorsport Cupra 1m45.970s -
22 Tom Coronel Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda 1m46.001s -
23 Bernhard van Oranje Bas Koeten Racing Audi 1m46.179s -
24 Zsolt Szabo Zengo Motorsport Cupra 1m46.232s -
25 Michael Verhagen Bas Koeten Racing Audi 1m46.268s -
26 Yvan Muller YMR Hyundai 1m45.522s -
27 Gabriele Tarquini BRC Racing Team Hyundai 1m45.932s -


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Series WTCR
Drivers Rob Huff
Author Jack Cozens
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