WTCR Free Practice 1 flash: Girolami bumps Urrutia from the top

2021-08-21T13:25:09+02:00August 21st, 2021|2021, WTCR Race of Hungary 2021|

Néstor Girolami left it late to kick off WTCR Race of Hungary with the fastest time in the first free practice session, as the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup returned to a Hungaroring circuit welcoming enthusiastic fans back to its grandstands.

The ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport driver set a time of 1m52.995s right at the end of the 45-minute session in his Honda Civic Type R TCR, knocking Cyan Performance’s Santiago Urrutia off the top. The Goodyear-equipped Lynk & Co 03 TCR was 0.126s down on Girolami as four customer racing brands were represented in the top 10.

“It’s quite early, everyone is on different tyres, but we have started on the right foot,” said Girolami. “The car feels comfortable and every time I was able to improve. We’ll take it step by step and learn from free practice two to do the right thing for qualifying.”

Urrutia was happy with his session too. “It was good,” said the Uruguayan. “It’s already warm, so it’s hot inside the car and it’s very tight as usual in the WTCR. Now we will share the information with my team-mates and see what we can improve.”

Mikel Azcona, who also spent some of the session at the top of the times, ended up third fastest in his Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición, with King of WTCR Yann Ehrlacher fourth for Cyan Racing. Nathanaël Berthon made it four customer racing brands in the top five by going fifth in his Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS 3 LMS.

FIA WTCR Junior Driver Title contender Gilles Magnus was sixth in his Comtoyou Team Audi Sport entry, ahead of Thed Björk’s Lynk & Co and Rob Huff’s Zengő Motorsport CUPRA. Attila Tassi was the first of the Hungarian local heroes in eighth for ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport, with WTCR Race of Spain race winner Frédéric Vervisch and Jordi Gené rounding out the top 10.

Local fan favourite Norbert Michelisz was down in P13 in his BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR, behind Tiago Monteiro and Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Jean-Karl Vernay. Yvan Muller was P14, one place ahead of Gabriele Tarquini.

Wildcard entry Nicola Baldan notched up his first WTCR laps in his Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR and ended up in P22. Jessica Bäckman went off at T11 but was able to drive back to the pits.

The second free practice session at WTCR Race of Hungary is due to begin at 12h30 local time.