Norbert Michelisz set the pace in first practice for his home round of the TCR International Series at the Hungaroring, where the Honda driver is also making his début in the championship.
Michelisz, who is driving for his own M1RA team, posted a time of 1 minute 54.133 seconds to lap the Hungaroring over seventh tenths faster than the second quickest car of Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Pepe Oriola.
The factory WTCC driver had improved his best lap three times during the half-hour session, asserting his dominance in his first TCR event of the season.
Third quickest was Comtoyou Racing’s Frédéric Vervisch in his Audi, with the Belgian having also picked up a penalty ahead of this weekend’s first race for having an engine change in his car ahead of the event, meaning he will start from the back of the grid for race one no matter where he qualifies on Saturday.
Another Hungarian was fourth fastest, this time being the second M1RA Honda of Attila Tassi, some 1.5 seconds behind his team-mate and team boss.
Mat’o Homola was the leading Opel racer in fifth, ahead of WestCoast Racing’s Gianni Morbidelli in sixth, who was the quickest of the Volkswagen drivers.
The two Leopard Racing VWs of Rob Huff and Jean-Karl Vernay failed to post representative times in the session as they focussed on giving their cars a shakedown after rebuilds following last week’s crashes in Salzburg.
Craft-Bamboo Racing’s James Nash was seventh, whilst the top ten was rounded out by the second WestCoast car of Giacomo Altoè, GE-Force’s Dušan Borković and the third M1RA car of Roberto Colciago.
Championship leader Stefano Comini could only manage 14th after the Audi driver picked up a puncture.
There were dramas for rookie Mark Jedlóczky who lost a wheel on his Unicorse Alfa Romeo, although he managed to avoid hitting the barriers, whilst four of the Zengő Motorsport cars did not take part in the session, including the newly-delivered KIA for Ferenc Ficza.
Second free practice takes place on Saturday at 12:15 CEST.
|1||59||Norbert MICHELISZ||M1RA||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||12||1:54.133||0.000|
|2||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||12||1:54.864||0.731|
|3||6||Frédéric VERVISCH||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||13||1:55.171||1.038|
|4||9||Attila TASSI||M1RA||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||12||1:55.670||1.537|
|5||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||DG Sport Compétition||Opel Astra TCR||12||1:55.771||1.638|
|6||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||West Coast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||11||1:55.840||1.707|
|7||54||James NASH||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||15||1:56.035||1.902|
|8||21||Giacomo ALTOÈ||West Coast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||14||1:56.097||1.964|
|9||62||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||GE-Force||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||12||1:56.173||2.040|
|10||5||Roberto COLCIAGO||M1RA||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||13||1:56.174||2.041|
|11||18||Duncan ENDE||Icarus Motorsports||SEAT León TCR||14||1:56.334||2.201|
|12||17||Daniel LLOYD||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||14||1:56.503||2.370|
|13||16||Davit KAJAIA||GE-Force||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||13||1:56.573||2.440|
|14||1||Stefano COMINI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||1:56.736||2.603|
|15||34||Stian PAULSEN||Stian Paulsen Racing||SEAT León TCR||13||1:56.813||2.680|
|16||11||Jens Reno MØLLER||Reno Racing||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||13||1:56.820||2.687|
|17||20||Mark JEDLÓCZKY||Unicorse Team||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||11||1:56.912||2.779|
|18||31||Milovan VESNIĆ||ASK Vesnić||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||14||1:57.109||2.976|
|19||66||Grégoire DEMOUSTIER||DG Sport Compétition||Opel Astra TCR||12||1:58.061||3.928|
|20||26||Istvan BERNULA||Botka Rally Team||KIA Cee’d TCR||14||1:58.688||4.555|
|21||3||Rob HUFF||Leopard Racing Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||11||1:59.489||5.356|
|22||2||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Leopard Racing Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||3||2:01.601||7.468|