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Homola outguns home hero Fulin for Brno ETCC pole

Mato Homola will start round seven of the FIA European Touring Car Cup from pole position after he set the pace in Qualifying at Brno this afternoon, upstaging home favourite Petr Fulín in the process to secure his first top spot of the season.

Driving a SEAT León Cup Racer in the headlining Single Make Trophy, Homola’s fastest lap time of 2m11.253s couldn’t be beaten by his ETCC rivals during the 30-minute session, which took place in cloudy conditions following earlier sunshine. The performance earns Slovakia’s Homola three points  in his quest for ETCC title glory as Fulín, who was fastest in both test sessions earlier today, had to settle for fourth in his SEAT.

“Honestly I didn’t expect this because we had some troubles in practice and I was struggling with the set-up,” said Homola, 21. “But in the last session [before qualifying] we found the set-up that suits me well and my lap was really perfect. I touched all apexes that I wanted and I don’t know where I could have improved myself. It’s really perfect for me. Petr Fulín beat me in the Slovakia Ring so it's one to one now. But the races will be really, really tough against [Dušan] Borković and Fulín and so on.”

SMT title leader Dušan Borković (Serbia) will join Homola on the front row of the grid for Sunday’s opening 10-lap race with Dejan Bulatović (Montenegro) a season-best third. Borković was 0.388s adrift of Homola, who has yet to win in the ETCC in 2015.

Georgian BMW driver Davit Kajaia was fastest of the TC2T runners in fifth overall with local hero Michal Matĕjovský going quickest in TC2 in another BMW in seventh, one place behind SMT runner Andreas Pfister from Germany. Meanwhile, young German Niklas Mackschin couldn’t be toppled in the Super 1600 division in his Ford Fiesta and will start race one in P16.

Swiss Ronny Jost, Turkey’s Aytaç Biter and Mladen Lalušić (Serbia) complete the top 10 ahead of Turkish duo Ibrahim Okyay and Ümit Ülkü. Swiss Honda TC2 pair Peter Rikli and Daniel Conrad were P13 and P14 respectively with Galip Atar P15. Ulrike Krafft (Germany), Gilles Bruckner (Luxembourg) and Florian Hildner (Germany) complete the race one grid behind Mackschin, while Erwin Lukas is a non-starter following his crash in testing this morning.

Race one on Sunday is due to begin with a rolling start at 12h00 local time. Race two will get underway from a standing start at 13h10. 

Qualifying classification: