Series leader Nestor Girolami secured a front-row start for Sunday’s WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup triple-header on an intensive rain-affected day of qualifying at the Slovakiaring.
The ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport driver braved a topsy-turvy Race Three qualifying to end Q2 ninth in his Honda Civic Type R TCR; a result that puts him second on Race Two’s partially-reversed grid.
Team-mate Esteban Guerrieri went a step further and reached Q3 for a second straight event.
Timing his one new-tyre run to perfection on the rapidly-drying track surface, he ended Q2 second.
Compromised by the maximum 60kg compensation weight applied to all Civic Type R TCRs as a result of their success at the opening two rounds, he slipped to fourth in Q3’s pole-position shoot-out on a track that was virtually dry.
In the earlier session, which had decided the grid for the opening race of the weekend on Sunday morning, Esteban and Bebu qualified eighth and 11th.
Like the Münnich pair, KCMG drivers Tiago Monteiro and Attila Tassi were heavily affected by carrying the maximum compensation weight, which made all the Civic Type R TCRs 90kg heavier than the lightest car in the field.
Tiago and Attila qualified 21st and 23rd in the first session, but were confident of improving their positions when the rain fell one hour before the all-important multi-stage session later on.
Having gone to the top of the timesheets with five minutes to go, Attila looked set to progress to Q2 for the first time in 2019.
However, a decision not to fit new tyres at the end of the session left him unable to improve and as others completed their final laps, he fell to 21st. Tiago, affected by briefly driving off the circuit on his first flying lap on new slicks, did likewise and qualified 24th.