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On its return to the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook, the #109 MONLAU COMPETICION CUPRA TCR secured TCE pole position for this weekend’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO. We caught up with team Mark Tamaño shortly after qualifying to discuss a job well done 
 
Mark, congratulations on a strong run for the CUPRA TCR in qualifying. Is the CUPRA now the car to beat around Mugello?
 
“Well so far we’ve managed to pull a good gap to the other cars, so yeah, I would say we are probably in the best position at the moment on this track. But there’s still a long way to go.”
 
The TCE qualifying session started with a Code 60 caution period almost immediately when the Dan Agro Racing Peugeot span into the gravel at turn five. How badly does that kind of thing hamper teams so early in qualifying?
 
“Not much actually. Our strategy, to begin with, is always to warm the tyres first, so in the end, losing two minutes, that might lose you one flying lap, but it doesn’t affect us too badly. Our drivers always get the best lap they can at the first chance they can, and there’s around 10 minutes of track time for an ideal shot.
 
“Towards the end, we had a good gap to the second car [AC Motorsport, at that time] in the first stint, so we sat in the pit box, watching what was happening, and as soon as the other cars started to approach our laptime, we really pushed to ensure first place in qualifying.
 
“In these kind of races, the best approach is to keep the car safe. So once we have a laptime we’re happy with, we make sure the tyres are scrubbed before the race.”
 
Any additional pressure for MONLAU this weekend, given that the team's last 24H SERIES run ended with a win last year in Barcelona?
 

“For sure! In 2017 we won the European Championship. Last year, we won the only race we entered. Now here, we’re starting this year’s European Championship on pole position. So yeah, pressure is high! But we’re happy to be here, and we’re hoping to do more races this year. We really enjoy racing with CREVENTIC.”

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