Hungary WTCR: Michelisz takes home pole by 0.008s

Norbert Michelisz snatched pole position for the main WTCR race at the Hungaroring in a qualifying shootout session in which 0.123 seconds covered the top four cars.

Hungary WTCR: Michelisz takes home pole by 0.008s

Home favourite Michelisz squeezed into the final part of qualifying by improving on his final lap in Q2, and opted to run second in the shootout order.

The BRC Racing Hyundai driver set a fastest first sector of all in his Hyundai and went on to record a 1m52.784s lap.

Michelisz was forced to wait with bated breath while the remaining Q3 contenders ran, but his time remained unbeaten as he secured a fourth pole since the start of the WTCR era in 2018.

Points leader Esteban Guerrieri was a mere 0.008 seconds slower than the Hungarian, having forfeited most of his time in the opening sector.

The Munnich Motorsport Honda driver still went one better than he had managed on Saturday, and will share the front row with Michelisz.

Q2 pacesetter Yann Ehrlacher was 0.040s shy of Michelisz's time and will start the final race from third in his Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, ahead of reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini (BRC Hyundai).

Saturday race winner Nestor Girolami should have scored his second pole position of the weekend, but had his 1m52.546s shootout lap scrubbed off for a track limits offence at the fast Turn 4 left-hander and will start fifth.

Michelisz's late improvement in Q2 pushed Mikel Azcona - a podium finisher on his first WTCR weekend in Marrakech - out of the shootout.

The PWR Racing Cupra driver will start Sunday's final race from sixth, ahead of Thed Bjork (Cyan Lynk & Co), Augusto Farfus - who only attempted one Q2 run in his BRC Hyundai - and the second PWR Cupra of Daniel Haglof.

Jean-Karl Vernay threatened to improve on his final Q2 lap with a fastest first sector of all but did not improve in sector two or three and instead remained 10th - meaning the WRT Audi driver will start the reversed-grid second race from pole.

British pair Rob Huff (Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen) and Andy Priaulx (Cyan Lynk & Co) will start both races 11th and 12th respectively.

Saturday runner-up Yvan Muller was the biggest name to fall in the first part of qualifying, missing the Q2 cut by two tenths.

Having reported a "big vibration" at the front of his Lynk & Co on his outlap at the start of Q1, Muller never really threatened to secure a place in Q2 and could only improve to 14th on his final lap, before being shuffled back.

He will start 15th, two places behind the fourth BRC Hyundai of Nicky Catsburg - who missed out on a spot in Q2 by 0.044s.

Other drivers to fall at the first hurdle included KCMG Honda pair Attila Tassi (17th) and Tiago Monteiro (21st), Huff's three SLR teammates Mehdi Bennani, Benjamin Leuchter and Johan Kristoffersson, and Gordon Shedden - who was 25th in his WRT Audi.

Qualifying results:

Cla Driver Chassis Time
1 Hungary Norbert Michelisz
Hyundai 1'52.784
2 Argentina Esteban Guerrieri
Honda 1'52.792
3 France Yann Ehrlacher
Lynk & Co 1'52.824
4 Italy Gabriele Tarquini
Hyundai 1'52.907
5 Argentina Nestor Girolami
Honda 1'52.461
6 Spain Mikel Azcona
Seat 1'52.733
7 Sweden Thed Björk
Lynk & Co 1'52.742
8 Brazil Augusto Farfus
Hyundai 1'52.743
9 Sweden Daniel Haglof
Seat 1'52.772
10 France Jean-Karl Vernay
Audi 1'52.861
11 United Kingdom Rob Huff
Volkswagen 1'52.885
12 Guernsey Andy Priaulx
Lynk & Co 1'52.948
13 Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Hyundai 1'53.118
14 France Aurelien Panis
Seat 1'53.168
15 France Yvan Muller
Lynk & Co 1'53.271
16 Netherlands Tom Coronel
Seat 1'53.293
17 Hungary Attila Tassi
Honda 1'53.337
18 Morocco Mehdi Bennani
Volkswagen 1'53.408
19 Belgium Frederic Vervisch
Audi 1'53.426
20 Germany Benjamin Leuchter
Volkswagen 1'53.563
21 Portugal Tiago Monteiro
Honda 1'53.601
22 Sweden Johan Kristoffersson
Volkswagen 1'53.629
23 Netherlands Niels Langeveld
Audi 1'53.695
24 Italy Kevin Ceccon
Alfa Romeo 1'53.954
25 United Kingdom Gordon Shedden
Audi 1'54.015
26 China Ma Qing Hua
Alfa Romeo 1'54.292
27 Hungary Tamas Tenke
Seat 1'55.276
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