Michelisz snatches home pole for WTCR Hungary in close qualifying

Norbert Michelisz snatched pole position for the main World Touring Car Cup race at the Hungaroring in a qualifying shootout session in which 0.123 seconds covered the top four cars

Michelisz snatches home pole for WTCR Hungary in close qualifying

Home favourite Michelisz squeezed into the final part of qualifying by improving on his final lap in Q2, and opted to run second in the shootout order.

The BRC Racing Hyundai driver set a fastest first sector of all in his i30 N and went on to record a 1m52.784s lap.

Michelisz was forced to wait with bated breath while the remaining Q3 contenders ran, but his time remained unbeaten as he secured a fourth pole since the start of the WTCR era in 2018.

Points leader Esteban Guerrieri was a mere 0.008 seconds slower than the Hungarian, having forfeited most of his time in the opening sector.

The Munnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R driver still went one better than he had managed on Saturday, and will share the front row with Michelisz.

Q2 pacesetter Yann Ehrlacher was 0.040s shy of Michelisz's time and will start the final race from third in his Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 03, ahead of reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini (BRC Hyundai).

Saturday race winner Nestor Girolami should have scored his second pole position of the weekend, but had his 1m52.546s shootout lap scrubbed off for a track limits offence at the fast Turn 4 left-hander and will start fifth.

Michelisz's late improvement in Q2 pushed Mikel Azcona - a podium finisher on his first WTCR weekend in Marrakech - out of the shootout.

The PWR Racing Cupra driver will start Sunday's final race from sixth, ahead of Thed Bjork (Cyan Lynk & Co), Augusto Farfus - who only attempted one Q2 run in his BRC Hyundai - and the second PWR Cupra of Daniel Haglof.

Jean-Karl Vernay threatened to improve on his final Q2 lap with a fastest first sector of all but did not improve in sector two or three and instead remained 10th - meaning the WRT Audi RS3 LMS driver will start the reversed-grid second race from pole.

British pair Rob Huff (Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI) and Andy Priaulx (Cyan Lynk & Co) will start both races 11th and 12th respectively.

Saturday runner-up Yvan Muller was the biggest name to fall in the first part of qualifying, missing the Q2 cut by two tenths.

Having reported a "big vibration" at the front of his Lynk & Co on his outlap at the start of Q1, Muller never really threatened to secure a place in Q2 and could only improve to 14th on his final lap, before being shuffled back.

He will start 15th, two places behind the fourth BRC Hyundai of Nicky Catsburg - who missed out on a spot in Q2 by 0.044s.

Other drivers to fall at the first hurdle included KCMG Honda pair Attila Tassi (17th) and Tiago Monteiro (21st), Huff's three SLR team-mates Mehdi Bennani, Benjamin Leuchter and Johan Kristoffersson, and Gordon Shedden - who was 25th in his WRT Audi.

Race two starting grid

Pos Driver Team Car
1 Jean-Karl Vernay WRT Audi
2 Daniel Haglof PWR Racing Cupra
3 Augusto Farfus BRC Racing Team Hyundai
4 Thed Bjork Cyan Racing Lynk & Co
5 Mikel Azcona PWR Racing Cupra
6 Nestor Girolami Munnich Motorsport Honda
7 Gabriele Tarquini BRC Squadra Corse Hyundai
8 Yann Ehrlacher Cyan Performance Lynk & Co
9 Esteban Guerrieri Munnich Motorsport Honda
10 Norbert Michelisz BRC Squadra Corse Hyundai
11 Rob Huff SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen
12 Andy Priaulx Cyan Performance Lynk & Co
13 Nicky Catsburg BRC Racing Team Hyundai
14 Aurelien Panis Comtoyou Cupra Cupra
15 Yvan Muller Cyan Racing Lynk & Co
16 Tom Coronel Comtoyou Cupra Cupra
17 Attila Tassi KCMG Honda
18 Mehdi Bennani SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen
19 Frederic Vervisch Comtoyou Audi Audi
20 Benjamin Leuchter SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen
21 Tiago Monteiro KCMG Honda
22 Johan Kristoffersson SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen
23 Niels Langeveld Comtoyou Audi Audi
24 Kevin Ceccon Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo
25 Gordon Shedden WRT Audi
26 Ma Qinghua Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo
27 Tamas Tenke Zengo Motorsport Cupra

Race three starting grid

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Norbert Michelisz BRC Squadra Corse Hyundai 1m52.784s -
2 Esteban Guerrieri Munnich Motorsport Honda 1m52.792s 0.008s
3 Yann Ehrlacher Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 1m52.824s 0.040s
4 Gabriele Tarquini BRC Squadra Corse Hyundai 1m52.907s 0.123s
5 Nestor Girolami Munnich Motorsport Honda - -
6 Mikel Azcona PWR Racing Cupra 1m52.733s -
7 Thed Bjork Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 1m52.742s -
8 Augusto Farfus BRC Racing Team Hyundai 1m52.743s -
9 Daniel Haglof PWR Racing Cupra 1m52.772s -
10 Jean-Karl Vernay WRT Audi 1m52.861s -
11 Rob Huff SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen 1m52.885s -
12 Andy Priaulx Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 1m52.948s -
13 Nicky Catsburg BRC Racing Team Hyundai 1m53.118s -
14 Aurelien Panis Comtoyou Cupra Cupra 1m53.168s -
15 Yvan Muller Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 1m53.271s -
16 Tom Coronel Comtoyou Cupra Cupra 1m53.293s -
17 Attila Tassi KCMG Honda 1m53.337s -
18 Mehdi Bennani SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen 1m53.408s -
19 Frederic Vervisch Comtoyou Audi Audi 1m53.426s -
20 Benjamin Leuchter SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen 1m53.563s -
21 Tiago Monteiro KCMG Honda 1m53.601s -
22 Johan Kristoffersson SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen 1m53.629s -
23 Niels Langeveld Comtoyou Audi Audi 1m53.695s -
24 Kevin Ceccon Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 1m53.954s -
25 Gordon Shedden WRT Audi 1m54.015s -
26 Ma Qinghua Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 1m54.292s -
27 Tamas Tenke Zengo Motorsport Cupra 1m55.276s -

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Series WTCR
Drivers Norbert Michelisz
Author Jack Cozens
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