Néstor Girolami stormed to his third WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup pole position of 2022 with a perfect performance in qualifying at WTCR Race Alsace GrandEst this afternoon.
The ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport driver lapped Circuit l’Anneau du Rhin in 1m26.546 during the single-lap pole-position shootout in Q3 to take the top spot from home hero Nathanaël Berthon of Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport.
Having set the pace in Q2, Girolami had free choice of when to complete his Q3 lap; the Argentinian choosing to go last of the five drivers who had made it into the final section of Qualifying.
Girolami’s choice proved inspired as he beat Berthon by just 0.026s. His lap pole lap also secured him 10 bonus points meaning he closed the gap to Goodyear #FollowTheLeader, Spain’s Mikel Azcona, to 32 points.
“It was insane,” Girolami said. “I was doing the maximum that could be achieved. We knew the track temperature was going down so choosing to go last was going to be an advantage.
“Huge thank you to the ALL-INKL team and HRC in Japan. Everyone did a great job. Tomorrow’s going to be difficult, but with some hard work we’ll manage.”
Behind Berthon’s Audi were BRC Hyundai N Squadra driver Azcona, Girolami’s Argentine Honda team-mate Esteban Guerrieri and Belgian Gilles Magnus, whose Comtoyou team replaced his Audi’s turbo in just 15 minutes at the start of the session.
LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler’s Tiago Monteiro enjoyed qualifying his besting performance of the season in sixth spot while team-mate Attila Tassi was knocked out of the reckoning for a top-10 result − and pole position on Race 2’s partially-reversed grid − by just 0.034s.
Behind Monteiro were Berthon’s team-mate Tom Coronel and the Hyundai Elantra N TCR of practice pace-setter Norbert Michelisz.
Zengő Motorsport’s Rob Huff and Comtoyou’s Mehdi Bennani completed the top 10, giving the Moroccan pole position for Race 2 ahead of the CUPRA-powered Briton, who are rivals in the WTCR Trophy for independent racers.
Rounds 13 and 14 of the 2022 WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup take place on August 7 with Race 1 due to begin at 11h15 CET over a distance of 30 minutes plus one lap. Race 2 is due to start at 16h15 CET over a distance of 25 minutes plus one lap.