ETCC: Seires Braga qualifying report

NORBERT MICHELISZ CLAIMS LAST GASP POLE Hungarian youngster Norbert Michelisz claimed pole position in Braga at the wheel of a SEAT Leon TDI car run by the SEAT Sport team. Again weather conditions were a factor, as the session began on a wet ...

NORBERT MICHELISZ CLAIMS LAST GASP POLE

Hungarian youngster Norbert Michelisz claimed pole position in Braga at the wheel of a SEAT Leon TDI car run by the SEAT Sport team. Again weather conditions were a factor, as the session began on a wet track that dried up completely towards the end. And strategy was crucial in choosing the right moment to go for a fastest lap.

Michelisz himself opened hostilities with a lap of 1:29.202, but later on pole position changed hands 18 times among five drivers. Reigning S2000 champion Michel Nykjær ousted Michelisz in the early stages, being clocked at 1:28.802, only to be immediately demoted by James Thompson's 1:28.798 that the Briton improved to 1:28.675. The fight continued with Franz Engstler joining Nykjær and Michelisz at setting fastest laps, until Thompson hit the track again with five minutes left and tried to settle the matter with two consecutive laps of 1:25.853 and 1:25.766.

But it was not over yet. Duarte Felix da Costa emerged on top with the time of 1:25.349, but Michelisz reclaimed the lead. They swapped places one more time until Engstler crossed the line in 1:24.898 a new provisional pole position. Only a few seconds were left and were enough for Michelisz's last shot of 1:24.821 that was worth the pole by 0.077 seconds.

Bamboo Engineering team-mates da Costa and Harry Vaulkhard won the second row on the grid for Race 1, with the Honda cars of Tomas Engstrom and Thompson behind.

Russian driver Mikhail Zasadych stole pole position from Latvia's Marcis Birkens by 2 tenths of a second, while S1600 only competitor Carsten Seifert managed to avoid the last spot of the grid qualifying ahead of Nikolay Karamishev.

Vincent Radermecker is the only competitor who did not join the field so far. Since yesterday morning the Maurer Motorsport crew is trying to solve an electrical problem on his Chevrolet Lacetti car that stubbornly refuses to start. The team will keep on working tonight, hoping to give the opportunity to the experienced Belgian driver to finally hit the track for tomorrow's warm up.

-credit: etcc

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers James Thompson , Franz Engstler , Tomas Engstrom , Vincent Radermecker , Mikhail Zasadych , Harry Vaulkhard , Norbert Michelisz