Néstor Girolami has given the Münnich Motorsport Honda team its second pole position of the FIA World Touring Car Cup season ahead of Saturday’s opening race at the Hungaroring.
Fastest in Friday afternoon’s practice session and a pace-setter in this morning second practice session, the Argentine put in a late flying lap two minutes before the end of qualifying to knock long-time leader Yvan Muller’s Cyan Racing Lynk & Co entry from top spot.
Aurélien Panis was an outstanding fourth-fastest in his Comtoyou Racing Cupra, with Muller’s Lynk & Co. stablemates Yann Ehrlacher and early championship leader Thed Björk claiming fifth and sixth respectively. Continuing its strong start to its first season of racing, the Chinese Lynk & Co. brand had three of its four cars qualify inside the top-ten, with only Andy Priaulx (15th) missing out.
After VW’s dire showing last time out in Marrakech, former rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson was at least able to unlock some one-lap pace in his Golf GTI which he hustled to seventh-fastest ahead of the Audi pairing of WRT’s Jean-Karl Vernay (8th) and Comtoyou Racing’s Frédéric Vervisch (10th).
The championship-winning Hyundais had a tougher time with their heavier base weights, with Augusto Farfus the sole representative in the top-ten for the BRC Racing operation. The Brazilian was just three-hundredths of a second faster than teammates Gabriele Tarquini and crowd favourite Norbert Michelisz, who will start 13th and 14th respectively.
As was the case last time out in Morocco, the qualifying session was a tightly-fought affair with less than one second covering the top eighteen qualifiers around the Hungaroring’s 4.3-kilometre layout. With the exception of the Team Mulsanne’s Alfa Romeo Giuliettas, every customer car brand represented in this year’s field got at least one of its cars lapping inside this one-second barrier – the lead Alfa of Kevin Ceccon was 1.073 seconds off the lead pace and the Italian qualified 19th-fastest.
The 12-lap opening race of the WTCR Race of Hungary will start at 15:15 local time (GMT +2).
|2019 FIA WTCR Race of Hungary – Race 1 Qualifying Results|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap|
|1.||Néstor Girolami||Münnich Motorsport||1:52.586|
|2.||Yvan Muller||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||1:52.757||+ 0.171|
|3.||Esteban Guerrieri||Münnich Motorsport||1:52.893||+ 0.307|
|4.||Aurélien Panis||Comtoyou Team DHL Cupra Racing||1:52.955||+ 0.369|
|5.||Yann Ehrlacher||Cyan Performance Lynk & Co||1:53.042||+ 0.456|
|6.||Thed Björk||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||1:53.065||+ 0.476|
|7.||Johan Kristoffersson||SLR Volkswagen||1:53.158||+ 0.572|
|8.||Jean-Karl Vernay||Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport||1:53.217||+ 0.631|
|9.||Augusto Farfus||BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team||1:53.267||+ 0.681|
|10.||Frédéric Vervisch||Comtoyou Team Audi Sport||1:53.274||+ 0.688|
|11.||Daniel Haglöf||PWR Racing||1:53.286||+ 0.700|
|12.||Mehdi Bennani||SLR VW Motorsport||1:53.289||+ 0.703|
|13.||Norbert Michelisz||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||1:53.290||+ 0.704|
|14.||Gabriele Tarquini||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||1:53.298||+ 0.712|
|15.||Andy Priaulx||Cyan Performance Lynk & Co||1:53.397||+ 0.811|
|16.||Mikel Azcona||PWR Racing||1:53.486||+ 0.900|
|17.||Rob Huff||SLR VW Motorsport||1:53.496||+ 0.910|
|18.||Attila Tassi||KCMG||1:53.548||+ 0.962|
|19.||Kevin Ceccon||Team Mulsanne||1:53.659||+ 1.073|
|20.||Nicky Catsburg||BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team||1:53.690||+ 1.104|
|21.||Ma Qing Hua||Team Mulsanne||1:53.780||+ 1.194|
|22.||Niels Langeveld||Comtoyou Team Audi Sport||1:53.845||+ 1.259|
|23.||Tiago Monteiro||KCMG||1:53.903||+ 1.317|
|24.||Gordon Shedden||Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport||1:54.048||+ 1.462|
|25.||Benjamin Leuchter||SLR Volkswagen||1:54.078||+ 1.492|
|26.||Tom Coronel||Comtoyou Team DHL Cupra Racing||1:54.213||+ 1.627|
|27.||Tamás Tenke (WC)||Zengő Motorsport||1:57.067||+ 4.481|
- The fastest five qualifiers and their respective teams are awarded championship points on a 5-4-3-2-1 sliding scale.
- To be advised
Images via FIA WTCR Media