FIRST QUALIFYING REPORT
FIA WTCR RACE OF HUNGARY
27-29 April 2018
WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO
Rounds 4-6 of 30
NATIONAL SPORTING HERO MICHELISZ TAKES HOME WTCR POLE IN HUNGARY
*BRC Racing Team Hyundai driver claims first top spot of 2018
*Second place for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s Guerrieri after late charge
*Nagy is leading wildcard in eighth for local team M1RA
Norbert Michelisz sent the partisan crowd into rapture at WTCR Race of Hungary by securing the DHL Pole Position for Race 1, as the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO thrilled a sun-baked Hungaroring.
The home hero was on great form in his BRC Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR to set a best time of 1m52.644s. Argentine Esteban Guerrieri put in a storming lap in the final minutes of the session to go second in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, but fell short of the DHL Pole Position by 0.256s.
The incessant blare of air horns welcomed Michelisz back to the pitlane after his pole-winning performance, as the Hungarian fans heralded their hero.
“It’s only Saturday, but the atmosphere is amazing,” said a delighted Michelisz. “To come so early and support me like this is amazing. I had clean laps and now I am hoping for a fantastic start.”
Behind the Hyundai and Honda on the front row, 2017 World Touring Car champion Thed Björk and WTCR points leader Gabriele Tarquini will start third and fourth. Björk clobbered a tyre stack at the chicane and lost his front right wheel cover, but had done enough to pip Tarquini.
Teenage Belgian Benjamin Lessennes put in a mighty performance to go fifth in his Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda. But for a slow third sector time, he could have been even higher. However, a driving indiscretion by the WTCR OSCARO’s youngest driver in Free Practice 2 earned him a five-place grid penalty for this afternoon’s race.
Lessennes effort pushed the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda of Yann Ehrlacher down to sixth, while Yvan Muller – fastest in Free Practice 2 this morning – was a disappointed seventh.
The Hungarian fans will have another home hero to cheer for in Race 1 this afternoon, after wildcard entry Dániel Nagy delivered on his impressive practice form in his M1RA Hyundai. He will start eighth. Briton Rob Huff was next up in his Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, while countryman James Thompson completed the top 10 in his Honda.
Jean-Karl Vernay, who won Race 2 at WTCR AFRIQUIA Race of Morocco last month, was the best of the Audi RS 3 LMS contingent, down in P11. Dutch hero Tom Coronel will start P12 in his Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda, with Nathanaël Berthon P13 in his Comtoyou Racing Audi.
Touring car legend Fabrizio Giovanardi was the best of the Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCRs in P18, while triple British Touring Car champion Gordon Shedden could only manage P25 on his first visit to the Hungaroring in his Audi.
Race 1 of WTCR Race of Hungary takes place at 15h25 local time.
Top 3 driver quotes