JAMES THOMPSON FLIES TO POLE POSITION Reigning European Touring Car champion James Thompson claimed pole position for tomorrow's Race 1 at Braga. The Briton and his Hartmann Racing Honda Accord were forced to better the Super 2000 track record...
JAMES THOMPSON FLIES TO POLE POSITION
Reigning European Touring Car champion James Thompson claimed pole position for tomorrow's Race 1 at Braga.
The Briton and his Hartmann Racing Honda Accord were forced to better the Super 2000 track record by 2.1 seconds in order to secure the top spot, beating stubborn opposition from the BMW cars of Kristian Poulsen and Cesar Campanico who were classified second and third with gaps of 0.07 and 0.15 seconds respectively.
In the Super 1600 class Jens Lohnig too had to push to the limit, improving his own lap times by two seconds to beat his fellow countryman Carsten Seifert.
Poulsen opened hostilities on his first lap out of the pits, clocking a provisional fastest lap of 1:23.791 that lasted only a few seconds before Thompson improved to 1:23.108. A few moments later Campanico responded jumping on top with a lap of 1:23.064.
The time to pit for new tyres and Poulsen struck back, provisionally re-claiming pole position at 1:23.041. And yet again he was soon demoted by Thompson's new effort of 1:22.740.
Poulsen and Campanico improved further in the late stages (to 1:22.811 and 1:22.894 respectively), cutting out the gap, but not enough to beat Thompson's time.
Michael Rossi clocked the fourth fastest lap at 1:23.401, emerging as the fastest of the SEAT drivers, while Marin Colak spoiled his last attempt crashing against a barrier at Turn 4.
The fight between Lohnig and Seifert for the S1600 pole saw the former setting an impressive 1:29.638 that placed his Ford Fiesta on the 11th spot of the grid for Race 1. The third contender, Florian Heitmeier, went off the track on his second attempt and did not rejoin.
As for Marcis Birkens, the only competitor in the Super Production class, he clocked only one valid time before his Honda Civic was forced back to the pits due to gearbox problems.