Nestor Girolami opens WTCR season with fastest time in FP1

Nestor Girolami ended the opening practice session of the 2020 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) season quickest for Münnich Motorsport at Circuit Zolder.

The Argentine put his Honda Civic Type R FK8 to the top of the timesheets with a 1:36.450 around the 2.49-mile Belgian venue, edging out championship newcomer and local hero Gilles Magnus’ Comtoyou-run Audi RS 3 LMS by a little over a tenth of a second.

Both cars looked equally strong in this, the first session for the series’ new Goodyear tyre compound, evidenced by Esteban Guerrieri (Münnich) and Nathanael Berthon (Comtoyou)’s respective runs to third and fourth, both cars less than a further tenth back.

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Yvan Muller rounds out the top five in the leading Lynk & Co challenger for Cyan Racing; stablemate Thed Bjork was ninth behind Team Mulsanne’s Jean-Karl Vernay.

Attila Tassi’s seventh-fastest time and Tiago Monteiro’s run to tenth completed a strong session for Münnich, with the Audi and Honda in particular looking well-adjusted to the Zolder circuit in the early running.

Reigning WTCR champion Norbert Michelisz opened his title defence with 11th in the BRC Racing Hyundai i30 N, with Nicky Catsburg’s Englster-run Hyundai just 0.008 seconds further back.

Michelisz’s team mate Gabriele Tarquini – the other WTCR champion in the field – was 16th, yet still within a second of the outright pace as another hotly-contested season begins to take shape.

Britain’s Jack Young started his debut in touring car racing’s international top-tier in 18th for Vukovic Motorsport, the 2019 TCR Europe podium finisher ahead of Mikel Azcona – champion from the same category one year prior – in the Zengo Motorsport-run CUPRA.

The WTCR action continues with Free Practice 2 from Zolder at 08:50 (BST) tomorrow.

Session results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 29 Néstor GIROLAMI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 10 1:36.450 0.000
2 16 Gilles MAGNUS Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 1:36.554 0.104
3 86 Esteban GUERRIERI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 16 1:36.589 0.139
4 17 Nathanaël BERTHON Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 14 1:36.640 0.190
5 100 Yvan MULLER Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 03 TCR 10 1:36.678 0.228
6 31 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 1:36.762 0.312
7 9 Attila TASSI ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 18 1:36.837 0.387
8 69 Jean-Karl VERNAY Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR 16 1:36.896 0.446
9 11 Thed BJÖRK Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 03 TCR 14 1:36.924 0.474
10 18 Tiago MONTEIRO ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 13 1:36.963 0.513
11 1 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 18 1:37.019 0.569
12 88 Nicky CATSBURG Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 1:37.027 0.577
13 12 Santiago URRUTIA Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 03 TCR 13 1:37.058 0.608
14 25 Luca FILIPPI Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR 19 1:37.342 0.892
15 68 Yann EHRLACHER Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 03 TCR 12 1:37.393 0.943
16 30 Gabriele TARQUINI BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 1:37.415 0.965
17 8 Luca ENGSTLER Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 14 1:37.665 1.215
18 7 Jack YOUNG Vuković Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR 18 1:37.697 1.247
19 96 Mikel AZCONA Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición 18 1:37.828 1.378
20 33 Dylan O’KEEFFE Vuković Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR 16 1:38.128 1.678
21 55 Bence BOLDIZS Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición 19 1:38.828 2.378
22 99 Gábor KISMARTY-LECHNER Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición 19 1:40.607 4.157
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