The Honda Civic Type R TCR will start from the second row at its home round of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup at Suzuka, Japan, after a sterling effort from Esteban Guerrieri
The ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport driver was a magnificent third-fastest in Friday afternoon’s opening qualifying session to ensure he starts the first race of the weekend from that spot.
Unfortunately, the Argentinian was hit by Yvan Muller on his out-lap during second qualifying’s Q2 section and spun around.
After superb work from the team to check the car over, Esteban made it onto his flying lap just one second before the chequered flag came out, but agonisingly missed out on 10th place – and Race Two’s reversed-grid pole position – after setting an identical time to the car already occupying the position, meaning he starts both of Sunday’s races from 11th.
Team-mate Yann Ehrlacher qualified fourth in the regular 30-minute session for Race One, and then repeated his achievement in the three-stage second qualifying. He starts Race Three from fourth and Race Two from seventh.
Team-mate Timo Scheider qualified 18th in both sessions; closing the gap considerably from FP1 through to second qualifying. The German will start the opening race from 21st due to a grid penalty carried over from the previous event in Wuhan.
Tiago Monteiro’s return to action after a 14-month injury layoff resulted in 16th place on the grid for Races Two and Three.
After receiving a guard of honour from the rest of WTCR drivers during practice, the Portuguese lapped just 0.7 seconds off the pace in second qualifying’s Q1 session. He starts Race One from 18th.
His Boutsen Ginion Racing team-mate Tom Coronel suffered a blow when red flags flew in the final minute of second qualifying just as he set his personal best time in the opening sector.
With the session not resumed, he had no opportunity to improve on his 23rd spot for Races Two and Three. He will start Race One from 22nd.