As the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) competitors took to track for the second qualifying session at the Hungaroring, it became clear that the early pecking order which has been established in the championship was not about to be ripped apart. Once again, the BRC Racing Team were very strong, with both of their drivers at the top of time sheets. Local Hungarian fan-favourite, Norbert Michelisz, went fastest after pipping team-mate, Gabriele Tarquini, for pole position in race three. In fact, by posting a lap time of 1:52.176, ‘Norbi’ broke the lap record for a TCR car around the Hungaroring. Having been unable to convert pole position into a race win during Saturday’s opening race, Michelisz will be eager to make the most out of this second opportunity.
Behind Michelisz and Tarquini, the Munnich Motorsport Honda duo of Esteban Guerrieri and Yann Ehrlacher would line up in third and fourth place respectively. After their 1-2 result in the opening race, Michelisz will no doubt be hoping that his team-mate Tarquini can act as a useful barrier between himself and the rapid Hondas. So, that’s how the first two rows of the grid will line up in race three, but how about the second race of the weekend?
Well, to decide the starting order for race two, the top ten qualifiers will be reversed. Originally, this meant that Daniel Nagy would be starting from pole position after posting the tenth fastest lap time. However, Attila Tassi (who was ninth fastest) had his lap time deleted after it was found that he’d set it after the session timing had expired. Consequently, Rob Huff moves up to tenth in the standings, and so will start race two from pole position with Nagy alongside.
Tassi wasn’t the only driver to be given a penalty of some sort by the race stewards. After qualifying 16th, Fabrizio Giovanardi failed to see the signal which meant that he was required to enter scrutineering. As such, all of his lap times were deleted, and so the Italian veteran will have to start both of Sunday’s WTCR races from last place on the starting grid (27th). Thed Bjork has usually been a front-runner in the WTCR up until now, but after having his fastest lap time deleted for exceeding track limits, the reigning world touring car champion found himself down in 20th place in the standings. He’ll do well to even score a point in either of the remaining races this weekend.
Young Belgian starlet, Benjamin Lessennes, had a fantastic qualifying session as he was able to secure the fifth fastest lap time. Unfortunately though, Lessennes will be dropped three grid positions in race two due to the fact that there was a regulations infringement in regard to when he entered the circuit during qualifying.
Races two and three from the Hungaroring will be broadcast live on Eurosport from 14:15 GMT.