Mat’o Homola was fastest in Qualifying for the opening rounds of the 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, with the first four rows dominated by Hyundai drivers.
The Hungaroring is host to the first two races of the new season, where the Slovak driver put his Team Target Competition Hyundai i30 N on pole position ahead of his team-mate Andreas Bäckman.
M Racing’s Nelson Panciatici and Josh Files qualified third and fourth with Gilles Magnus the fastest non-Hyundai in fifth position in his Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS, followed by the Peugeot 308 of Julien Briché.
Qualifying was not without its challenges with Q1 part was red-flagged at the beginning when Luca Engstler crashed his Hyundai in turn one. When the action resumed with sixteen minutes to go, Panciatici set the fastest lap of 1:53.064 that nobody was able to beat.
By the end of the session, both Magnus and Briché improved their times and climbed to second and third, demoting the other Hyundai cars of Dániel Nagy, Files and Jessica Bäckman. Eight of the twelve spots for Q2 were secured by Hyundai drivers.
The other non-Hyundai drivers who made the cut were ex-WTCR driver John Filippi in the Renault Mégane and rookie Santiago Urrutia in the second Audi. The best of the Volkswagen drivers was Urrutia’s team-mate Maxime Potty in thirteenth place, who was eleven-thousandths of a second slower than twelfth-placed Nathan Bihel in the second M Racing Hyundai.
Urrutia qualified in tenth place overall in Q2 and will start from pole position for race two, with the Target Competition Hyundai of Dušan Borković alongside and local hero Nagy in the M1RA Motorsport Hyundai in third place on the grid.
In the TCR Eastern Europe Series, Martin Ryba was fastest overall in the Brutal Fish Racing Honda Civic, sitting in twenty-first position overall.