Robert Dahlgren has claimed his second pole position of the year for the PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team at Falkenberg, leading a close session where a tenth of a second covered the top five.
The 2017 champion was fastest throughout practice, but by qualifying the Brink Motorsport team had upped their game, and were right on the tails of the PWR Racing Cupra TCRs.
Dahlgren had set a safer banker lap in Qualifying 1, not needing to improve to make it into the second segment, while his team-mate Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky was fastest of all in the first session, albeit by just 28-thousandths of a second over Tobias Brink’s Audi RS 3 LMS.
In Q2, Brink blasted out a time of 45.235 on his first run, while Dahlgren’s time was two-tenths slower and put the Cupra driver fourth after everyone’s first run.
With a new set of tyres, Dahlgren went out again and managed to find some more time from his car, pushing himself ahead of Brink’s Audi by 15-thousandths of a second, while team-mate Åhlin-Kottulinsky improved to put her Cupra third, just 0.035 seconds back.
Mattias Andersson, who had changed his engine after practice and with his Honda Racing Sweden squad working hard to improve the car’s set up, was also on the pace, with the Swedish touring car veteran qualifying fourth, just 0.073 seconds from Dahlgren’s time.
Andreas Ahlberg picked up the final qualifying point with fifth in his Micke Kågered Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, just a fraction over a tenth down, while Andreas Wernersson qualified sixth, suffering a minor drama after the rear window of his Audi blew out in the second session.
This means Wernersson, who is 11 points behind Dahlgren in the standings going into tomorrow’s races, will get to start the second reversed grid race from pole position.
Robert Dahlgren, #2 PWR Racing Cupra TCR, pole position, said:
“I knew it was going to be close, but not that close.
“We always planned to go again, but when I saw my predicted time, I realised it was going to be really close.
“I think we have a good race car. In qualifying, the car wasn’t quite working, it was too loose, but I know it’s a good race car, so it should be good fun and I’m looking forward to the races.”
Tobias Brink, #71 Brink Motorsport Audi RS 3 LMS, second on the grid, said:
“We struggled a bit in practice. We expected to be a bit quicker than we were in FP2, and it feels like we bounced back in qualifying and got the car where we wanted to have it.
“After our run in Q1, I felt quite confident. In Q2, I made just a tiny, tiny, tiny mistake in sector one, and when it’s this close, that was enough to stop us from getting the pole today. But P2 is good, we have a good starting position, so we’ll get out heads down and give Robert a big challenge tomorrow.”
No – Driver – Team – Car – Time/Gap
1 – Robert Dahlgren – PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team – Cupra TCR – 45.220
2 – Tobias Brink – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 0.015
3 – Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky – PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team – Cupra TCR – 0.05
4 – Mattias Andersson – Honda Racing Sweden – Honda Civic Type R FK2 TCR – 0.073
5 – Andreas Ahlberg – Micke Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – 0.103
6 – Andreas Wernersson – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 0.171
7 – Albin Wärnelöv – Experion Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – 0.270
8 – Hannes Morin – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 0.845
9 – Tomas Engström – Micke Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – 0.486
10 – Jonas Lynge – Insight Racing – Honda Civic Type R FK2 TCR – 0.664
11 – Alex Andersson – Brovellen Design – Audi RS 3 LMS – 1.059
12 – Louise Frost – Insight Racing – Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR – 1.156
13 – Peter ‘Poker’ Wallenberg – Poker Racing For Charity – Cupra TCR – 1.757