Norbert Michelisz secured an important pole position at his home race in the FIA World Touring Car Cup after beating Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri by a mere eight thousandths of a second in qualifying for races two and three.
The BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse driver was delighted to achieve pole at his home round, but emphasised his doubts for the third race of the weekend.
Having topped the times in Q1, and being fourth fastest in Q2, the Hungarian was clearly displaying enough pace to challenge for pole.
Second to set a time in the five car shootout, Michelisz believed that the evolving track grip at the Hungaroring circuit meant it was tough to set a quick time.
“It was very difficult,” described the Hyundai driver. “In Q3 I felt the track was getting slower and I thought my time wouldn’t be good enough, but the others were struggling too.
“Yesterday I was joking with the Hungarian fans that it was difficult to know what to expect, except a pole position. Thankfully, I was wrong.”
Having seen Honda driver Néstor Girolami have his time disallowed for a track limits exceedance, Michelisz had to then watch on as the remaining three drivers, including teammate Gabriele Tarquini, sought to beat his lap.
It appeared, however, that the top five all struggled to set a clean lap, with Guerrieri and Cyan Performance driver Yann Ehrlacher making mistakes early into their timed lap.
Looking to race three, Michelisz revealed he will be relying on his experience of the 4.381 km circuit to defend his pole position.
“I’m hoping for a good start and then will use my track knowledge to defend,” explained the 34 year old who took two pole positions here last year.
“I have a good feeling, but we will not be the fastest in the race.”
The two Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R’s have been the cars to beat this weekend, and with the top four drivers in Q3 separated by only 0.123 seconds it is set to be a close fight in the final race of the weekend.