Home hero Michelisz gets fairytale pole position

by James Bowers
Michelisz-Pole-Hungaroring2019-WTCR

Home hero, Norbert Michelisz, took a stunning pole position for this weekend’s World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) feature race at the Hungaroring.

In Q1, a few big names fell by the wayside. Most notably, the second place finisher in Saturday’s race – Yvan Muller – could do no better than qualify in 15th position for both of Sunday’s races. Also, having impressed with a top five performance yesterday, it was business as usual again for Aurelien Panis who will line up just ahead of Muller in 14th.

Tiago Monteiro and Gordon Shedden‘s woes continued, the pair of them qualifying in 21st and 25th respectively. As for the local interest, two Hungarian drivers were knocked out in the first round. Attila Tassi will start both races from 17th position, while wildcard Tamas Tenke brings up the rear.

In Q2, Andy Priaulx still couldn’t quite match the pace of the fastest Lynk & Co runners. The triple FIA World Champion would have to make do with 12th, just behind the lead Volkswagen of Rob Huff.

The pair of them therefore narrowly missed out on pole position for the weekend’s reversed grid. That accolade instead went to Jean-Karl Vernay, by virtue of the Frenchman ending the session in 10th. Joining him on the front row of the grid will be 9th place finisher, Daniel Haglof.

Spanish youngster, Mikel Azcona narrowly missed out on the top five, and will instead line up from sixth place in the feature race, just ahead of Thed Bjork and Augusto Farfus in 7th and 8th respectively.

Onto Q3, and the top-five cars from Q2 would now get one shot each at a flying lap to claim pole position. Nestor Girolami ran first, but disaster struck as the Argentine had his lap invalidated for a track limits infringement. He would therefore be classified in fifth.

Girolami’s team-mate, Esteban Guerrieri, had a better time in Q3. The championship points leader would go second fastest. Yann Ehrlacher rounded off an impressive session to go third, just ahead of reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini in fourth.

It was Norbert Michelisz, therefore, who drove to the script and secured pole position in front of his home fans around the Budapest circuit. It was far from easy though, as just eight thousandths of a second separated himself and Guerrieri.

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