Girolami storms to Sandown TCR Aus pole
Nestor Girolami continued his impressive Sandown debut by taking pole position for TCR Australia Race 1.
The Argentine WTCR star had an eventful start to the session with an off at Dandenong Road but he quickly recovered and showed his class by setting a string of blistering laps.
Girolami moved to the head of the timesheets on halfway with a 1:15.15s before dipping into the 1:14s bracket.
Wall Racing Honda team-mate John Martin got to within 0.01s of the benchmark before Girolami struck again to post a 1:13.96s to open up a comfortable gap over the field.
Kelly Racing’s Andre Heimgartner emerged as Girolami’s nearest rival as the Kiwi jumped to second late on, albeit 0.35s adrift of the polesitter.
Heimgartner’s time came after he suffered a spin at Turn 4 in the early minutes of the hit out.
Martin was left to settle for third and will share the second row with series leader Will Brown (HMO Customer Racing, Hyundai), who ran as high as second earlier in the session.
Jason Bright was fifth fastest in the Alliance Autosport Volkswagen Golf ahead of Jordan Cox (Garry Rogers Motorsport, Alfa Romeo).
After setting the initial pace Tony D’Alberto (Wall Racing Honda) ended up in seventh, in front of Bryce Fullwood (Kelly Racing, Opel Astra), who also had a brief off at Dandenong Road mid-session.
The top 10 was completed by title contender Dylan O’Keeffe (Ashe Seward Motorsport, Alfa Romeo) and James Moffat (Garry Rogers Motorsport, Renault).
Garth Tander could only manage 11th in the best of the three Melbourne Performance Centre Audis.
Chris Pither will start from the back of the grid after Garry Rogers Motorsport were forced to conduct an engine change on the sister Renault Megane last night.
TCR Race 1 is scheduled for 1310 AEST.
Results: TCR Australia Race 1 Qualifying
|1||38||Nestor Girolami (ARG)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||1:13.9637|
|2||777||Andre Heimgartner (NZ)||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra||1:14.3147||00.3510|
|3||24||John Martin (NSW)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||1:14.4205||00.4568|
|4||30||William Brown (Qld)||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30N||1:14.5029||00.5392|
|5||8||Jason Bright (Vic)||Taskforce/Melb Performance Cnt||Volkswagon Golf GTI||1:14.7351||00.7714|
|6||7||Jordan Cox (NSW)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||1:15.0217||01.0580|
|7||50||Tony D’Alberto (Vic)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||1:15.3768||01.4131|
|8||62||Bryce Fullwood (NT)||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra||1:15.4249||01.4612|
|9||9||Dylan O’Keeffe (Vic)||Ashley Seward Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||1:16.0341||02.0704|
|10||34||James Moffat (Vic)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Megane RS||1:16.0353||02.0716|
|11||3||Garth Tander (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||1:16.0379||02.0742|
|12||97||Liam McAdam (Qld)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||1:16.1310||02.1673|
|13||100||Russell Ingall (Qld)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||1:16.5845||02.6208|
|14||2||Aaron Cameron (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Volkswagen Golf GTI||1:16.8578||02.8941|
|15||11||Nathan Morcom (NSW)||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30N||1:17.2787||03.3150|
|16||33||Chris Pither (NZ)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Megane RS||1:17.8114||03.8477|
|17||35||Alexandra Whitley (Qld)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Volkswagon Golf GTI||1:18.8787||04.9150|