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Girolami storms to Sandown TCR Aus pole

Tom Howard

Saturday 21st September, 2019 - 10:52am

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Nestor Girolami

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

Pos Num Driver Team Car Time Gap
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

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