Nicky Catsburg doubled up in second qualifying for the FIA World Touring Car Cup at the Slovakiaring, claiming pole position for race three, again edging out BRC Racing team-mate Norbert Michelisz.
Catsburg cemented his earlier strong form to take a convincing second pole of the day in Q3, beating Hyundai team-mate Michelisz to the top time by a tenth of a second in a qualifying session which was defined by a heavy rain shower beforehand and a drying track thereafter.
Team Mulsanne’s Ma Qing Hua was once again third fastest, as the top four repeated the order from the day’s earlier qualifying session, the Alfa Romeo driver being just under half a second back.
PWR Racing’s Daniel Haglöf again secured a second row starting position and was fourth as the leading CUPRA driver.
Esteban Guerrieri was fourth driver to take to the track in Q3, but the Münnich Motorsport Honda driver could only manage fifth, his time being only marginally better than his Q2 effort.
Kevin Ceccon was the first to post a time in Q2, but the Italian’s timings on the drying circuit meant that he was not the last to cross the line and he put his Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo in sixth.
Comtoyou Racing’s Niels Langeveld was the leading Audi driver in seventh, half a second from the pace, ahead of CUPRA team-mate Aurélien Panis in eighth.
Completing the top ten and gaining the reverse grid front row for the second race were Münnich Motorsport’s Néstor Girolami and SLR’s Rob Huff, the latter having only just sneaked into Q2 earlier with a very late improvement from 25th.
Cyan Racing’s Thed Björk was the only Lynk & Co driver to scrape through to Q2, courtesy of a late Q1 improvement, and the Swede sought to do the same in Q2 but could only manage 11th, four tenths from the top ten.
Benjamin Leuchter was 12th, having also scraped through to Q2 like team-mate Huff to flatter the performance of the Golf GTi this weekend.
The biggest changes in track conditions and times came in Q1, which started just after a heavy rain shower had passed over the Slovakiaring.
That meant that drivers started the session with a mixture of slick tyres on the front and wet tyres on the rear, before switching to slicks as the conditions improved.
When Haglöf went easily to the top of the times in his CUPRA on slick tyres at the halfway stage, the field knew they had to switch to dry rubber to make it through to Q2.
That saw a flurry of very late improvements, and the top times tumbled in the closing seconds, bumping Haglöf’s team-mate Mikel Azcona to 13th in the final ranking, despite the Spaniard having been seventh with just seconds remaining.
Wildcard entry Luca Engstler was nevertheless an impressive 14th in his Team Engstler Hyundai, ahead of Comtoyou Racing’s Frédéric Vervisch in 15th, the Belgian Audi driver having mistimed his final run.
Despite the conditions benefitting some, Lynk & Co continued to struggle for pace, with the exception of Björk’s strategically timed lap. Yvan Muller was the next best of the Cyan Racing contingent in 20th, whilst Andy Priaulx and Yann Ehrlacher were 23rd and 25th respectively.
Aside from Huff and Leuchter, it was another difficult session for the SLR Volkswagen’s, with Johan Kristoffersson denied the chance for a last-minute spurt as his Golf cut out on his last lap, leaving the Swede down in 26th.
Comtoyou Racing’s Tom Coronel, who had been an impressive fifth in the day’s first qualifying session for race one, was last after going off the road early in the session in his CUPRA.
The next WTCR action takes place on Sunday, with all three races in the same day beginning with race one at 10:45 CEST (09:45 BST).
|1||88||Nicky CATSBURG||BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||3||2:09.639||0.000|
|2||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai i30 N TCR||3||2:09.746||0.107|
|3||55||Ma QING HUA||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||3||2:10.114||0.475|
|4||37||Daniel HAGLÖF||PWR Racing||CUPRA TCR||3||2:10.335||0.696|
|5||86||Esteban GUERRIERI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R TCR||3||2:10.518||0.879|
|1||88||Nicky CATSBURG||BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||3||2:10.441||0.000|
|2||86||Esteban GUERRIERI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R TCR||4||2:10.569||0.128|
|3||55||Ma QING HUA||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||3||2:10.610||0.169|
|4||37||Daniel HAGLÖF||PWR Racing||CUPRA TCR||2||2:10.654||0.213|
|5||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai i30 N TCR||4||2:10.699||0.258|
|6||31||Kevin CECCON||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||4||2:10.870||0.429|
|7||10||Niels LANGEVELD||Comtoyou Team Audi Sport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||3||2:10.943||0.502|
|8||21||Aurélien PANIS||Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing||CUPRA TCR||2||2:10.976||0.535|
|9||29||Néstor GIROLAMI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R TCR||4||2:11.352||0.911|
|10||12||Rob HUFF||SLR VW Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||2||2:11.572||1.131|
|11||11||Thed BJÖRK||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||2||2:12.024||1.583|
|12||33||Benjamin LEUCHTER||SLR Volkswagen||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||2||2:12.215||1.774|
|1||88||Nicky CATSBURG||BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||6||2:11.877||0.000|
|2||37||Daniel HAGLÖF||PWR Racing||CUPRA TCR||6||2:12.059||0.182|
|3||86||Esteban GUERRIERI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R TCR||6||2:12.311||0.434|
|4||33||Benjamin LEUCHTER||SLR Volkswagen||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||7||2:12.399||0.522|
|5||21||Aurélien PANIS||Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing||CUPRA TCR||8||2:12.515||0.638|
|6||29||Néstor GIROLAMI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R TCR||7||2:12.521||0.644|
|7||31||Kevin CECCON||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||7||2:12.737||0.860|
|8||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai i30 N TCR||7||2:12.763||0.886|
|9||55||Ma QING HUA||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||5||2:12.901||1.024|
|10||12||Rob HUFF||SLR VW Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||6||2:13.062||1.185|
|11||11||Thed BJÖRK||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||7||2:13.082||1.205|
|12||10||Niels LANGEVELD||Comtoyou Team Audi Sport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||6||2:13.138||1.261|
|13||96||Mikel AZCONA||PWR Racing||CUPRA TCR||7||2:13.173||1.296|
|14||6||Luca ENGSTLER||Hyundai Team Engstler||Hyundai i30 N TCR||7||2:13.250||1.373|
|15||22||Frédéric VERVISCH||Comtoyou Team Audi Sport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||8||2:13.354||1.477|
|16||1||Gabriele TARQUINI||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai i30 N TCR||8||2:13.430||1.553|
|17||8||Augusto FARFUS||BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||8||2:13.545||1.668|
|18||25||Mehdi BENNANI||SLR VW Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||8||2:13.552||1.675|
|19||69||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||7||2:13.553||1.676|
|20||100||Yvan MULLER||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||8||2:13.649||1.772|
|21||9||Attila TASSI||KCMG||Honda Civic Type R TCR||8||2:13.683||1.806|
|22||52||Gordon SHEDDEN||Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||8||2:13.855||1.978|
|23||111||Andy PRIAULX||Cyan Performance Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||7||2:13.911||2.034|
|24||18||Tiago MONTEIRO||KCMG||Honda Civic Type R TCR||8||2:14.093||2.216|
|25||68||Yann EHRLACHER||Cyan Performance Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||7||2:14.177||2.300|
|26||14||Johan KRISTOFFERSSON||SLR Volkswagen||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||7||2:15.305||3.428|
|27||50||Tom CORONEL||Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing||CUPRA TCR||5||2:20.206||8.329|