WTCR First Qualifying flash: Girolami clinches maiden DHL Pole Position
Néstor Girolami set a last-gasp best lap to claim his first DHL Pole Position at WTCR Race of Hungary after topping the qualifying session for Race 1 at the Hungaroring.
The ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR set a time of 1m52.586s to knock Yvan Muller from the top spot by just 0.171s, as one second separated the first 18 drivers in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO field.
“Congratulations to all the team,” said a delighted Girolami, who topped Free Practice 1 on Friday and was also quick in the Saturday morning session. “They have done a fantastic job all weekend. I had the pace to fight for pole position, but missed one lap because of exceeding track limits. But my last lap was fantastic.”
“It was not enough,” said Muller, who had topped the times since the first half of the session. “I was quick, but I didn’t improve.”
Behind the top two, Esteban Guerrieri backed up ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s strong pace at the Hungaroring by jumping up to third fastest, despite losing two lap times to track limit violations – as did a number of other drivers down the field. “My engineer was a bit stressed,” he said. “He told me a hundred times to watch the track limits, but it is not easy when you are battling for a few tenths.”
Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing’s Aurélien Panis continued his strong form by setting the fourth best time, ahead of Cyan Performance Lynk & Co’s Yann Ehrlacher and Thed Björk.
SLR Volkswagen’s Johan Kristoffersson was seventh in his Golf GTI TCR, ahead of Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport’s Jean-Karl Vernay and BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team’s Augusto Farfus, who jumped up to ninth in the final seconds of the session. Comtoyou Team Audi Sport’s Frédéric Vervisch completed the top 10.
PWR Racing’s Daniel Haglöf was P11 ahead of Mehdi Bennani, local hero Norbert Michelisz, inaugural WTCR / OSCARO title winner Gabriele Tarquini and Andy Priaulx, who was another to struggle with track limits. Hungarian teenager Attila Tassi ended up P18 with Tiago Monteiro P23 and Tamas Tenke, the Hungarian wildcard entry, P27.
Race 1 of WTCR Race of Hungary takes place at 15h15 local time.