Nestor Girolami secured pole position in WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup qualifying at the Nürburgring Nordschleife for a second year in a row, heading an ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport 1-3 as the Honda Civic Type R TCR showed prodigious pace at the ‘Green Hell’.
Argentinian Nestor set a best time of 8m54.791s in the 40-minute session – a format unique to the event on the 25.378-kilometre circuit – to clinch top spot, earning the first 10 points on offer in this year’s championship in the process.
As well as being a second-straight pole at the track for ‘Bebu’, it also marked the third year in a row in which an ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Civic Type R TCR sealed first place in qualifying, with team-mate Esteban Guerrieri having first achieved that feat in 2019.
Esteban, the only driver in the WTCR era to have won twice at the Nürburgring, will start Saturday’s second race from row two after setting the third-fastest time.
He was one of a handful of drivers to improve on their final laps but just missed out on securing an ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport 1-2 lockout, denied a place on the front row by less than two tenths of a second.
It still marked an excellent return for the team, whose reward for working overnight on Esteban’s car was an early 16-point haul to contribute to their Teams’ championship total.
It was also a good session for the ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport squad, for whom Tiago Monteiro was the highest qualifier in seventh.
Despite getting only one clean shot at a lap, Tiago was another to improve on his final run, recording personal-best times in all five sectors to secure a spot in the top 10.
Seventh place in qualifying also means the Portuguese will start Saturday’s opening race of the season from fourth on the partially reversed grid, giving him an excellent opportunity to score an early podium.
His team-mate Attila Tassi will start both races from 13th, though the session was very much a case of what might have been for the Hungarian.
Assisted by a tow down the long Döttinger Hohe from Tiago, 21-year-old Attila sat at the top of the times after the first runs at the start of the session. He also set a personal-best time in the first sector on his second run but backed out of that lap, and was later forced to abort his final run.
Both Saturday races will be held over three laps. Race One race starts at 9am CET, with Race Two getting under way at 10.20am.