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.

Nestor Girolami

Nestor Girolami 29

"I have very good memories of last year's qualifying lap, but to repeat pole position feels really special considering how difficult this track is. I was improving on my final lap but then I got the call to say the track was a bit damp in the final sector, so I didn’t want to make any mistakes and risk losing pole. Congratulations to everyone at ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport because they did an amazing job and gave me a brilliant car. Tomorrow we have to be ready for everything the weather might throw at us, but we’ve had the possibility to test in mixed conditions here, so I hope to have a good race for Honda to start the season on the right foot."

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Esteban Guerrieri

Esteban Guerrieri 86

"I have to thank the ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport team a lot because we had some issues yesterday, but they have worked very hard over three days to prepare the cars so I'm pleased to give them this third place as a little reward. This track takes a lot out of you in terms of energy, concentration, and commitment, and you only really explore the limits in qualifying, so it was an exhausting session. But I'm very pleased with the result - we are very much bunched up with the others but we have shown good pace, so let's hope for two good races tomorrow."

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Tiago Monteiro

Tiago Monteiro 18

"I'm OK with seventh place in qualifying on our return to the Nordschleife. I wanted a little bit more, as I felt confident and was happy with the car, but we had some issues that disrupted my first two laps, so I only really got one shot at it in the end. That considered, I'm happy with the result. We need to fine-tune the car for tomorrow, but we have a very good base. Congratulations to Nestor for pole position, that was a very good job. We've seen the car can do it, so now it's up to us to do it as well. We have two hard races to come so we have to stay concentrated."

ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport
Attila Tassi

Attila Tassi 9

"I was really looking forward to qualifying and my first run, even though it was a safe lap from my side, was very good. On my second lap I had a big oversteer where another car crashed into the wall yesterday but I managed to save it, then later in the lap I also drifted round a corner. I had the same issue on my third lap so we are checking the data, and hopefully we will find it for tomorrow and fight for some good points. I'm disappointed because after practice yesterday I was looking forward to fighting for a place in the top three, so to not even be close is unfortunate, but tomorrow is a new day and we will fight back as best we can."

ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport
Dominik Greiner

Dominik Greiner

Team Manager

"This is a fantastic result for the team and is the reward they deserve for the way they have prepared for this season, as well as their hard work overnight and this morning and in the session to give the drivers the best cars possible - it has really paid off. Of course the headlines will go to Nestor and Esteban and they deserve praise for their performances, but Tiago and Attila also showed excellent speed in some challenging circumstances and are both in a good position to score strong points tomorrow. We cannot get carried away as the hard work is a long way from done this weekend, but this is a good start and sets us up well for the races."

Münnich Motorsport
Mads Fischer

Mads Fischer

TCR Project Leader, JAS Motorsport

"This really is a tremendous start ahead of the first races of the season. Of course tomorrow is a different day and the fine margins are going to count; we've seen how close the pack is so there is no room to be complacent. But we should still rightly recognise what a great performance this has been, so well done to Münnich Motorsport for preparing four fast cars. The fact we've seen such good times from all four drivers on the most demanding and diverse track there is to race on demonstrates what a strong all-round package the Civic Type R TCR is."

JAS Motorsport
WTCR Race of Germany

Nürburgring, Germany

WTCR 2021, Round 1

Friday 4 Jun 2021, 14:45 Europe/London
# Driver Num Nationality Nat. Total Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Nestor Girolami 29 ARG 10 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda 8'54.791
2 Jean-Karl Vernay 69 FRA 8 Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team Hyundai +0.780
3 Esteban Guerrieri 86 ARG 6 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +0.943
4 Luca Engstler 8 GER 4 Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team Hyundai +1.573
5 Santiago Urrutia 12 URU 2 Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co +2.511
6 Gabriele Tarquini 3 ITA 0 BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai +2.667
7 Tiago Monteiro 18 POR 0 ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda +2.989
8 Norbert Michelisz 5 HUN 0 BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai +3.190
9 Yann Ehrlacher 68 FRA 0 Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co +3.241
10 Yvan Muller 100 FRA 0 Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co +3.607
11 Tom Coronel 32 NDL 0 Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi +3.609
12 Nathanael Berthon 17 FRA 0 Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi +3.711
13 Attila Tassi 9 HUN 0 ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda +4.494
14 Gilles Magnus 16 BEL 0 Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi +5.046
15 Thed Björk 11 SWE 0 Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co +5.379
16 Frederic Vervisch 22 BEL 0 Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi +8.614
17 Andreas Backman 19 SWE 0 Target Competition Hyundai +9.413
18 Rob Huff 79 GBR 0 Zengo Motorsport Cupra +9.526
19 Mikel Azcona 96 SPA 0 Zengo Motorsport Cupra +11.590
20 Jessica Backman 26 SWE 0 Target Competition Hyundai +15.600
21 Bence Boldizs 55 HUN 0 Zengo Motorsport Cupra +15.703
22 Jordi Gene 28 SPA 0 Zengo Motorsport Cupra +19.435