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Brilliant Borković tops ETCC Pergusa qualifying

Dušan Borković has done his chances of winning the FIA European Touring Car Cup Single Make Trophy title the power of good by qualifying on the outright pole position for the first of two races shown live on Eurosport from Autodromo Pergusa in Sicily today.

The Serbian smashed the unofficial ETCC lap record with a blitzing time of 1m48.178s around the high-speed 4.95-kilometre track in his NIS Petrol Racing SEAT León Cup Racer for what is his third category pole of 2015.

Slovakia’s Mato Homola, who was 0.323s slower than Borković, will join the SMT title leader on the front row of the grid in an identical SEAT with Czech Petr Fulín and German Andreas Pfister next up in their Spanish machines. All four drivers are still in championship contention although the six points Borković scored for qualifying on pole means Pfister’s hopes of the crown are all but over.

“I was pushing a little bit but not over to make some mistakes because we have a race in a couple of hours and I had to have my car clean,” said Borković. “Six points is important for the title at a circuit where you have to be really careful on the kerbs. And if you want to be fast you have to use those kerbs. Mato Homola is younger than me and maybe he will be aggressive at the start. If he is pushing me I will let him go because I have a lot of advantage in the points and I want to be champion.”

German BMW racer Franz Engstler caused a surprise by upstaging his team-mate and TC2T title leader Davit Kajaia (Georgia) to take the class pole on a one-off appearance in the ETCC with Swiss Honda driver Peter Rikli outgunning Czech Michal Matĕjovský for top spot in TC2. Ronny Jost, from Switzerland, and Turkey’s Ibrahim Okyay completed the top 10 but there were problems for Jost when contact with a kerb broke his SEAT’s water cooler and led to a dramatic loss of fluid from his car. He will miss Warm Up to give his Topcar Sport team as much time as possible to carry out repairs. 

Ulrike Krafft was fastest in Super 1600 with championship leader Niklas Mackschin third behind outgoing champion Giles Bruckner, whose session ended abruptly when he went off and broke his Ford Fiesta’s steering. Mackschin arrived in Sicily needing 10 points to take the class title in his Fiesta and scored two points for his qualifying effort. 

The opening 11-lap race, which will be broadcast live on Eurosport, gets underway with a rolling start at 11h00 local time with double points awarded to the leading finishers in each category. This will follow the 15-minute Warm Up from 10h00.

To view the Qualifying classification click below: provisional.pdf

Qualifying press conference transcript available soon at: