WTCR Free Practice 2 flash: Berthon edges home hero Michelisz
Nathanaël Berthon upstaged local hero Norbert Michelisz at WTCR Race of Hungary by jumping to the top of the times with his rapid final lap of the second free practice session at the Hungaroring.
The Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport driver set a time of 1m52.805s in his Audi RS 3 LMS to pip Michelisz by 0.131s, as the crowd in the grandstands cheered on their national star.
“We made some adjustments compared to the first session and the feeling then was not as good as now,” said BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse driver Michelisz. “It was definitely a step, but we need one more to fight for pole position. That has to be my target. We need to do a perfect job.”
Michelisz paid tribute to the fans who have turned out to cheer him on at a hot Hungaroring. “The crowd is so amazing,” he said. “As I was coming to the circuit this morning I was thinking about how many would come. To see this many is very nice. It wasn’t the same last year without them. We are getting the old feeling back.”
Behind the top two, Rob Huff – who headed the session early on – jumped up to third with a strong final effort in his Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición. Frédéric Vervisch was another later improver in his Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS 3 LMS to go fourth, ahead of the other early pacesetter Mikel Azcona.
Gilles Magnus was sixth for Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, ahead of Yvan Muller’s Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 03 TCR. Néstor Girolami, who was fastest in the first session, was eighth this time in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, ahead of team-mate Esteban Guerrieri and Santiago Urrutia who rounded out the top 10.
King of WTCR Yann Ehrlacher was in P11, ahead of Luca Engstler and Thed Björk, with Gabriele Tarquini in P14 and another local hero Bence Boldizs in P15 for Zengő Motorsport Drivers’ Academy.
Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Jean-Karl Vernay was only in P16 while wildcard entry Nicola Baldan was P23 in his Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR. Attila Tassi, another local hero, reported struggles with understeer in his ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda and was only P21 in the final times.
Qualifying at WTCR Race of Hungary is due to get underway at 15h30 local time.