Hungary WTCR: Michelisz scores pole with new lap record

Norbert Michelisz claimed a comfortable pole for Saturday's opening World Touring Car Cup race at the Hungaroring with a new TCR lap record of his home circuit.

Practice pacesetter Michelisz carrier his form into the first of the weekend's qualifying sessions, which sets the grid for Saturday's first race, recording his TCR pole lap record with his first flying lap.

The BRC Racing driver managed a 1m52.644s in his Hyundai and, despite abandoning a subsequent lap that had been on par with his first effort, still beat nearest challenger Esteban Guerrieri to pole by a quarter of a second.

Michelisz's fastest time maintains Hyundai's perfect record of qualifying pole positions at the start of the new WTCR season.

Guerrieri's effort aboard his Munnich Motorsport Honda prevented a Hyundai 1-2-3 lockout, with his late 1m52.900s lap dropping YMR driver Thed Bjork and Michelisz's BRC teammate Gabriele Tarquini to third and fourth respectively.

Benjamin Lessennes was an impressive fifth in his Boutsen Ginion Honda, although the 18-year-old is expected to take a five-place grid drop for failing to adhere to full course yellow directives during the 30-minute session.

He beat the similar Munnich Honda of Yann Ehrlacher, while the Hyundais of Yvan Muller and wildcard entrant Daniel Nagy - the Hungarian, racing for Michelisz's M1RA team, carrying an additional 20 kilograms of ballast as per series regulations - were seventh and eighth.

Rob Huff was the lead representative for any of the Volkswagen Audi Group cars in ninth in his Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Golf, with fellow Brit James Thompson completing the top 10 in the third Munnich car.

WRT driver Jean-Karl Vernay was 11th in the best of the Audis, but teammate Gordon Shedden's practice struggles carried over into qualifying. He qualified 25th of the 27 runners, 2.679 seconds off the pace.

Qualifying results:

Pos.DriverCarTimeGap
1 HUN Norbert Michelisz Hyundai 1'52.644  
2 ARG Esteban Guerrieri Honda 1'52.900 0.256
3 SWE Thed Bjork Hyundai 1'53.063 0.419
4 ITA Gabriele Tarquini Hyundai 1'53.088 0.444
5 BEL Benjamin Lessennes Honda 1'53.152 0.508
6 FRA Yann Ehrlacher Honda 1'53.213 0.569
7 FRA Yvan Muller Hyundai 1'53.315 0.671
8 HUN Daniel Nagy Hyundai 1'53.487 0.843
9 GBR Rob Huff Volkswagen 1'53.601 0.957
10 GBR James Thompson Honda 1'53.736 1.092
11 FRA Jean Karl Vernay Audi 1'53.900 1.256
12 HOL Tom Coronel Honda 1'54.144 1.500
13 FRA Nathanael Berthon Audi 1'54.174 1.530
14 MAR Mehdi Bennani Volkswagen 1'54.319 1.675
15 SVK Mat'o Homola Peugeot 1'54.379 1.735
16 FRA John Filippi Seat 1'54.387 1.743
17 HUN Norbert Nagy Seat 1'54.474 1.830
18 ITA Fabrizio Giovanardi Alfa Romeo 1'54.476 1.832
19 FRA Aurelien Comte Peugeot 1'54.573 1.929
20 ITA Gianni Morbidelli Alfa Romeo 1'54.596 1.952
21 HUN Attila Tassi Honda 1'54.749 2.105
22 ESP Pepe Oriola Seat 1'54.900 2.256
23 FRA Aurelien Panis Audi 1'55.017 2.373
24 BEL Frederic Vervisch Audi 1'55.101 2.457
25 GBR Gordon Shedden Audi 1'55.323 2.679
26 BEL Denis Dupont Audi 1'55.524 2.880
27 HUN Zsolt Szabo Seat 1'55.703 3.059
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About this article
Series WTCR
Event Hungaroring
Track Hungaroring
Drivers Norbert Michelisz
Teams BRC Racing
Article type Qualifying report