ETCC: Series Salzburg qualifying report

THOMPSON ON POLE AS TEREGULOV ROLLS James Thompson claimed another pole position following the opening event at Braga in March. On the flooded track of the Austrian Salzburgring, the Hartmann Honda racer comfortably topped the time sheet from...

THOMPSON ON POLE AS TEREGULOV ROLLS

James Thompson claimed another pole position following the opening event at Braga in March. On the flooded track of the Austrian Salzburgring, the Hartmann Honda racer comfortably topped the time sheet from the start of the session.

Serbian driver Vojislav Lekic and Jens Lohnig from Germany emerged as the fastest in the Super Production and S1600 categories respectively. Rain was still falling down when the cars came out of the pits for the 30-minute qualifying session. Only six minutes went by before the red flag disrupted the session after Ibrahim Okyay's BMW hit the tyre-wall at the Farhrerlager Kurve.

Thompson had set a provisional fastest time of 1:40.631 on his first flying lap and improved to 1:40.521 a few moments later, immediately before the red flag.

After the restart Michel Nykjær seemed to be capable of threatening Thompson's lead and moved up to second with two consecutive laps of 1:41.200 and 1:41.060, but the Briton responded with a 1:40.342 that was not to be beaten.

Halfway through the session the red flag was waved again after Rustem Teregulov's BMW had a spectacular crash, hitting the barrier and rolling at T6. Despite his car being totally dismantled, the rollcage withstood the impact and the Russian driver walked away shocked, but unscathed. The accident was caused by aquaplaning a few moments after the race director had showed Teregulov the black-and-orange flag, calling him back to the pits to fix the front bonnet that was half-open.

No significant improvements were recorded after the session resumed, following a 30-minute pause to recover the wrecked BMW and repair the barriers. The rain had intensified and most of the drivers decided to call it a day five minutes before the end in order to avoid any risks. Lekic won pole position for Super Production with a lap of 1:50.157 that will place him 12th on the overall grid for tomorrow's Race 1, one position ahead of the S1600 pole-sitter Lohnig (1:53.634).

SUNDAY'S RACES LIVE ON EUROSPORT

Salzburgring's two 12-lap races will be broadcast live tomorrow on Eurosport.

Race 1 at 11:15 on Eurosport International and Race 2 at 13:30 on Eurosport 2.

-source: wtcc

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Series General
Drivers James Thompson , Ibrahim Okyay