Team Belgium’s strong start in Touring Cars at the 2022 FIA Motorsport Games continued with a comfortable lights-to-flag performance by Gilles Magnus in Sunday’s Qualification Race.
The Audi RS3 LMS driver started the first 25-minute race from pole position after grabbing the advantage in Saturday’s Qualifying session, and a fine start when the lights went out lay the groundworks for victory with a winning margain of over six seconds to ensure Team Belgium start the race for medals from pole.
Closest to Belgium would be the sister Comtoyou Racing-run Audi of Team Netherlands, with Tom Coronel initially tracking his rival’s pace before settling into second place by the time they reached the chequered flag.
Third place went the way of the chasing Team Ireland Honda Civic Type-R, despite Jack Young picking up a five-second time penalty during the race. It would not be enough to drop him down the standings however, pipping the Peugeot 308 of Team France which was part of a thrilling scrap for fourth.
France’s driver Teddy Clairet had fallen behind the Team Spain entry of a feisty Isidro Callejas Gomez after the Cupra slid down the inside of Team France at the opening Verriere corner, but moments later Clairet fought back with a brave dive around the outside of Team Spain under braking for the Mistral chicane.
It would be the move that confirmed fourth place for France, Spain demoted to sixth behind Team Argentina’s Ignacio Montenegro after also receiving a five-second time penalty for an earlier incident. Team Latvia forced their way by Team Hong Kong China with an early lunge by their driver Valters Zviedres on Andy Cheuk Wai Yan for seventh place.
Team Switzerland’s Gabriel Muller Agrelo Lusquinos finished ninth, with the top 10 rounded out by Team UK driver Chris Smiley who made up six places after qualifying down the order on Saturday in his Honda Civic Type-R.
Fourth place had been held for much of the race by Team Sweden, but they were victims to mechancial troubles that slowed Jan Backman’s Audi RS3 LMS in the closing minutes and dropped them out of contention. Contact from the Team Switzerland Cupra at Signes spun Venezuela’s entry down to 11th meanwhile.
The results set the grid for the main Touring Car race which will decide the medals over a 30-minute (+1 lap) distance, taking place from 14:30, meaning Team Belgium start from pole position.