Robert Dahlgren has extended his lead of the 2019 TCR Scandinavia Touring Car Championship after taking his fourth pole position of the season in his PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team Cupra, but was faced with a new threat, with four-time Danish champion Casper Elgaard qualifying on the front row on his TCR debut.
Dahlgren led the way through both of the practice sessions on Friday and earlier on Saturday, and held station in qualifying, lapping the Danish circuit with a time of 1:09.353 in qualifying, nearly half a second clear of the field.
Casper Elgaard put his Massive Motorsport Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR in second on the grid, 0.499 seconds behind the Cupra driver, as the fully-ballasted new model Honda made its Scandinavian touring car debut.
Elgaard was just a fraction ahead of title contender Tobias Brink, who will lead off an all Brink Motorsport Audi row two tomorrow, with team-mate Andreas Wernersson fourth, with both drivers still in the frame to win the championship.
Andreas Ahlberg qualified his Kågered Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR in fifth and is well-placed for the reversed grid second race, which will see pole position awarded for the second time this year to Brink Motorsport’s junior driver Hannes Morin.
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky just missed the top six in her PWR Racing Cupra, with Mattias Andersson eighth fastest in his previous generation Honda, with the Swede carrying the full 20kg of driver success ballast after a competitive weekend last time out at Karlskoga.
The new Danish contingent kept the Swedes on their toes in qualifying, with Martin Jensen putting his Alfa Romeo Giulietta RF TCR tenth, ahead his new team-mate Kristian Sætheren, who’s competing in the newer model Alfa Romeo, and with Kim Lund returning setting the 12th fastest time in his DSG-equipped Cupra, while rally specialist Marco Gersager brought up the rear in 13th in his Team Hyundai Denmark i30 N TCR.
Robert Dahlgren, #2 PWR Racing Cupra TCR, pole position, said:
“That was a good lap. On my first lap, I knew I needed to pull something out of the bag and I put everything out there on the last go.
“It’s not every day you do a lap like that, so it’s a good feeling. The team did an amazing job.
“We’ll see what the car’s like tomorrow on used rubber, we tested a week and a half ago at Mantorp Park, and it felt like we had a good race car. What we don’t know is Casper (Elgaard) in the Honda, and what sort of speed he’ll have in the race. If he starts like Mattias Andersson does in his Honda, we’re in trouble.”
Casper Elgaard, #5 Massive Motorsport Honda Civic TCR, P2, said:
“Yesterday, it was my first time in the car, and used most of the time on really bad tyres so we knew it would be better today, but we didn’t expect to go from 13th to second.
“These tyres are so soft, and by lap two they’ve gone a bit off so you don’t have many chances. It’s just about finding that limit and where can you actually push more – I think there’s still more in me, but I’m more than happy with qualifying.
I haven’t done a race stint, and I tried two starts yesterday, the first was really shit, the other one was OK, so I’m just really happy with having qualified second and we’ll take it from there.”
Tobias Brink, #71 Brink Motorsport Audi RS 3 LMS, P3, said:
“It was a good run. We need to do some homework, my run in Q1 was good, we were just a tenth off of Robert, and I felt we had a chance for pole. My first run in Q2 was good, but we were still a tenth behind, so we just went for it on the second run, but went a little too wide at Turn 1 and 7, and that was game over.
“I saw also that Robert made a really good run at the end of Q2, so I take my hat off to him for that lap.
“It’s fun having the Danish guys giving us some competition. Casper’s a legend of Jyllandsringen, and for the first time in that car, it was good work. It’ll be good fun tomorrow having him at the top with us as well.”
1 – Robert Dahlgren – PWR Racing – Cupra TCR – 1:09.353
2 – Casper Elgaard – Massive Motorsport – Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR – 0.499
3 – Tobias Brink – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 0.517
4 – Andreas Wernersson – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 0.599
5 – Andreas Ahlberg – Micke Kågered Racing – w – 0.636
6 – Hannes Morin – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 0.824
7 – Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky – PWR Racing – Cupra TCR – 0.896
8 – Mattias Andersson – Honda Racing Sweden – Honda Civic Type R FK2 TCR – 1.070
9 – Albin Wärnelöv – Experion Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – 0.838
10 – Martin Jensen – Insight Racing – Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR – 0.913
11 – Kristian Sætheren – Insight Racing – Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce – 1.487
12 – Kim Lund – Madbull Racing – Cupra TCR DSG – 1.580
13 – Marco Gersager – Team Hyundai Denmark – Hyundai i30 N TCR – 2.137