Reigning champion Norbert Michelisz endured a ‘disappointing’ start to his FIA World Touring Car Cup season at Zolder, as the BRC Racing driver could only qualify his Hyundai in 12th for both races.
Michelisz has failed to break into the top ten all weekend thus far, starting first practice in 11th before ending Saturday morning’s second practice session in 18th.
The Hungarian was able to manage to get through to Q2 with the 11th fastest time in the first part of the afternoon’s qualifying session, but in Q2 he ended up as the only driver over a second off the pace.
Despite being the leading driver for Hyundai in the times, Michelisz admitted that it had been a qualifying result which failed to meet expectations.
“Not the best day for us,” said Michelisz. “Qualifying was quite disappointing – we finished outside the top ten which means that I missed the target which I set for the first qualifying of this season.
“It puts us in a difficult position for the races because I have to start both races now from P12, so more or less in the middle of the pack.
“This means that we will have challenging races, but nevertheless there is the chance to score points.
“We saw last year that every point counts, so I will try to do my best and try to be clever tomorrow.”
Michelisz’s team-mate Gabriele Tarquini, who could only manage 15th in qualifying, 1.2 seconds off the Q1 pace, pointed the lack of pace in the South Korean manufacturer’s car at the Balance of Performance [BoP] situation.
“Qualifying was not very good for all of the Hyundais; BoP is like this,” said Tarquini. “We must do the best from what we have but at the moment we are not competitive.
“I hope that something changes for the future races.
“The best [outcome] is to score some points, because it’s always very good to collect some points for the rest of the season.
“Even if we are not competitive, our starting position is not fantastic, but we can score some points.”