WTCR Hungaroring: Azcona claims first pole of 2022 for Hyundai

Mikel Azcona clinched his own and Hyundai’s first World Touring Car Cup pole position of 2022 by topping the Q3 shootout in qualifying at the Hungaroring.

WTCR Hungaroring: Azcona claims first pole of 2022 for Hyundai

The Spaniard, who switched from Zengo Motorsport’s Cupra to BRC Squadra Corse for this season, ended up 0.128s faster than the Comtoyou Audi of Nathanaël Berthon. Reigning double champion Yann Ehrlacher was third in his Cyan Racing Lynk & Co.

Comtoyou Audi’s Gilles Magnus was a surprise fastest in Q2 after track limits violations had left him vulnerable to dropping out after Q1.

Then running last in the one-at-a-time Q3 shootout, he blew his chance to claim pole by running wide at Turn 11. Esteban Guerrieri, who ran first, also had his time deleted for stepping over the limits at the same corner.

“That was very tough, I have to say,” said Azcona after securing his first pole position since Most last year. “Everything is very close and we are all together, but I’m very happy with this first pole position of the year.

"The car was working amazingly and we need to use this opportunity tomorrow to take the victory tomorrow.”

Berthon was kicking himself for losing time on his lap, but Magnus had greater reason to be frustrated. “The car was really on the edge to be quick,” he said, “so it was not easy to drive.

"But I’m really disappointed. I should have finished the lap on a slow pace, which I tried to do to be honest. I didn’t want to take any risks, but the rear stepped out. This would have been a nice pole which is important here. I’m disappointed in myself, sorry to the team.”

Lynk & Co’s Santiago Urrutia will start the partially reversed-grid race two from pole position after qualifying 10th.

Santiago Urrutia, Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR

Santiago Urrutia, Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR

Photo by: WTCR

A late improvement in Q2 from fellow Lynk & Co driver Ma Qing Hua pushed him up to sixth and knocked Urrutia down to the crucial position – and Yvan Muller out of the top 10.

The Q2 session was briefly interrupted by Zengo Motorsport’s Daniel Nagy going straight on at Turn 1 and crashing his Cupra into the barriers.

Fellow Hungarian Norbert Michelisz qualified seventh behind Ma, but will be docked six places on the race one grid for causing an accident with countryman Attila Tassi in the first round at Pau.

The Hungarian round of WTCR follows two weeks after the races on the Nurburgring Nordschleife were cancelled at short notice following safety fears over delaminating Goodyear tyres.

The company organised a test this week at the Slovakia Ring to test a lightly modified version of the WTCR tyre. This is being used on the fronts at the Hungaroring, with standard rubber remaining on the rears.

There has been only one reported tyre problem so far in practice and qualifying. The left rear on Tom Coronel’s Comtoyou Audi deflated in Q1, the Dutch veteran pulling off a great save to stop his R3 LMS from spinning.

WTCR Hungaroring Qualifying results

Cla Driver Chassis Time
1 Spain Mikel Azcona Hyundai 1'52.020
2 France Nathanael Berthon Audi 1'52.148
3 France Yann Ehrlacher Lynk & Co 1'52.344
4 Belgium Gilles Magnus Audi 1'51.684
5 Argentina Esteban Guerrieri Honda 1'51.804
6 China Ma Qing Hua Lynk & Co 1'51.858
7 Hungary Norbert Michelisz Hyundai 1'51.986
8 Argentina Nestor Girolami Honda 1'52.108
9 United Kingdom Rob Huff CUPRA 1'52.159
10 Uruguay Santiago Urrutia Lynk & Co 1'52.259
11 France Yvan Muller Lynk & Co 1'52.339
12 Hungary Daniel Nagy CUPRA 1'52.317
13 Sweden Thed Björk Lynk & Co 1'52.327
14 Hungary Attila Tassi Honda 1'52.516
15 Morocco Mehdi Bennani Audi 1'52.656
16 Netherlands Tom Coronel Audi 1'52.855
17 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Honda 1'52.951
shares
comments
Why the WTCR's Nurburgring cancellation was “the least worst decision”
Previous article

Why the WTCR's Nurburgring cancellation was “the least worst decision”

Next article

WTCR Hungaroring: Azcona claims WTCR points lead after Hungary win

WTCR Hungaroring: Azcona claims WTCR points lead after Hungary win
The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59 Plus

The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59

OPINION: It's not often that a driver achieves widespread affection for their personality, as well as their on-track performances. One such individual is Gabriele Tarquini, who will soon bring the curtain down on a remarkable career that has yielded touring car titles on the European and global stage - and, famously, in Britain too

BTCC
Nov 11, 2021
Why the new electric tin-top series deserves to be taken seriously Plus

Why the new electric tin-top series deserves to be taken seriously

The new Pure ETCR series will get underway at Vallelunga this weekend featuring great looking cars, top drivers and real tracks. Its format is wacky, but it exists in an era when its petrol-fuelled brethren are all artificially contrived, and has the potential to move the tin-top game on

WTCR
Jun 17, 2021
The tin-top champion who doesn't know the meaning of retirement Plus

The tin-top champion who doesn't know the meaning of retirement

The news is out that three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx is stepping down from full-time racing. But he's still got plenty of mileage left him in yet, and his son has much more

WTCR
Jun 16, 2020
The phoenix driver who is at peace with his defeats Plus

The phoenix driver who is at peace with his defeats

Esteban Guerrieri spent years trying to make it in single-seaters, and came closer than you'd think to making it to F1. Now he's forging a successful tin-top career, but it's his philosophical approach to defeat and personal growth that is truly impressive

WTCR
Jan 13, 2020
The surprise team orders twisting a world title battle Plus

The surprise team orders twisting a world title battle

Team orders in major touring car racing are nothing unusual with manufacturer honour at stake. But in the 2019 World Touring Cars title fight, one team is raising eyebrows with the choices it is making

WTCR
Nov 18, 2019
The 'weapon' clash that turned a world title battle bitter Plus

The 'weapon' clash that turned a world title battle bitter

Emotions ran high at Suzuka last weekend between two teams gunning for global tin-top bragging rights, and little has been done to cool those tensions since. While that's great news for WTCR, is there a danger of both outfits losing sight of their main aim?

WTCR
Nov 2, 2019
How WTCR's last real independent has stayed in play Plus

How WTCR's last real independent has stayed in play

The World Touring Car Cup has gone from strength to strength for 2019 - but one small team in particular is proving time and again that it merits a place alongside the series' big hitters

WTCR
Apr 23, 2019
The lessons World Touring Cars must heed from history Plus

The lessons World Touring Cars must heed from history

The WTCR has made a massive step up in quality ahead of its second season in its current format, but as manufacturers start to lock horns is it already in danger of repeating other great touring car series' mistakes?

WTCR
Apr 5, 2019