Hungary WTCR: Home hero Michelisz tops practice

Hungary WTCR: Home hero Michelisz tops practice
By: Jack Cozens
Apr 28, 2018, 9:02 AM

Norbert Michelisz was fastest in practice for the Hungarian round of the World Touring Car Cup, setting a new fastest lap of the Hungaroring in TCR machinery in first practice.

BRC Racing driver Michelisz set the fastest time ahead of qualifying in the opening practice session in his Hyundai i30 N, with the similar YMR car of Yvan Muller fastest later in the morning.

Michelisz set his stall out early in the opening practice session, recording a fastest time of 1m52.657s that bettered his own qualifying lap record from a year earlier of 1m52.740s.

The home favourite set another time that would have been good enough for top spot - a 1m53.014s - but his ultimate best still left him 0.544 seconds clear of the second-place YMR Hyundai of Thed Bjork.

Esteban Guerrieri headed a Munnich Motorsport Honda 3-4 in first practice, lapping five thousandths slower than Bjork. James Thompson, who admitted he is still struggling for consistency with the gearbox on his Honda Civic, was fourth and half a tenths slower than teammate Guerrieri.

Wilcard entrant Daniel Nagy ended FP1 fifth in his Hyundai run by Michelisz's M1RA team, with the third and fourth regular Hyundais of FP2 pacesetter Muller and Gabriele Tarquini next up in sixth and seventh respectively. 

Muller's fastest time in the second session was half a tenth slower than Michelisz's earlier benchmark, eclipsing teammate Bjork in the final moments of the session by 0.083s.

Michelisz completed a Hyundai 1-2-3 in that session, lapping four tenths slower than Muller, while Yann Ehrlacher ended FP2 as the fastest of the Honda contingent a further 0.044s back.

Sixth was the Volkswagen Golf GTi of Rob Huff, who was the early pacesetter, ahead of the impressive Nagy and Thompson. 

Aurelien Comte was the busiest man in practice, completing 27 laps across the two practice sessions in his Peugeot 308TCR. He ended both sessions in eighth, beating Gabriele Tarquini in the second session.

The second Hungaroring wildcard entry of Attila Tassi completed the top 10 in FP2 and was 1.081s off the pace, having finished the morning's opening session in 25th.

Gordon Shedden could only manage the 26th and 24th fastest times in the two practice sessions, while WRT Audi teammate Jean-Karl Vernay had a number of laps chalked off for exceeding track limits in FP2 and was slowest of those to complete a representative lap in 26th.

First practice results (top 10):

Pos.Driver Car  Time  Delay 
 Norbert Michelisz Hyundai 1'52.657  
 Thed Bjork Hyundai 1'53.201 0.544
 Esteban Guerrieri Honda 1'53.206 0.549
 James Thompson Honda 1'53.253 0.596
 Daniel Nagy Hyundai 1'53.255 0.598
 Yvan Muller Hyundai 1'53.295 0.638
 Gabriele Tarquini Hyundai 1'53.359 0.702
 Aurelien Comte Peugeot 1'53.596 0.939
 Yann Ehrlacher Honda 1'53.869 1.212
10   Mehdi Bennani Volkswagen 1'53.873 1.216

Second practice results (top 10):

Pos.Driver Car  Time Delay
 Yvan Muller Hyundai 1'52.707  
 Thed Bjork Hyundai 1'52.790 0.083
 Norbert Michelisz Hyundai 1'53.130 0.423
 Yann Ehrlacher Honda 1'53.174 0.467
 Rob Huff Volkswagen 1'53.205 0.498
 Daniel Nagy Hyundai 1'53.239 0.532
 James Thompson Honda 1'53.408 0.701
 Aurelien Comte Peugeot 1'53.489 0.782
 Gabriele Tarquini Hyundai 1'53.522 0.815
10   Attila Tassi Honda 1'53.788 1.081
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About this article

Series WTCR
Event Hungaroring
Location Hungaroring
Drivers Norbert Michelisz
Teams BRC Racing
Author Jack Cozens
Article type Practice report