Néstor Girolami pips Santiago Urrutia to top time in first Hungaroring practice

Münnich Motorsport’s Néstor Girolami topped the times in the first practice session for the FIA World Touring Car Cup at the Hungaroring, with a fast lap in the final seconds to deny Cyan Racing’s Santiago Urrutia.

Girolami had topped the times early on in the 45-minute session, before he was deposed initially by Mikel Azcona after ten minutes, and then Nathanaël Berthon, after Azcona’s time was disallowed.

Comtoyou Racing’s Berthon then held the fastest lap for around ten minutes, until Zengő Motorsport’s Azcona went fastest with a lap of 1 minute 53.137 seconds.

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Urrutia put his Lynk & Co at the head of the timesheets as the pace improved with 15 minutes to go, the Uruguayan lapping in 1:53.121, which he held for much of the remainder.

But after the chequered flag was waved Girolami – a double winner at the circuit in 2019 – pipped his fellow South American with a time of 1:52.995, just over a tenth of a second faster.

Girolami did so despite the Honda Civic being the heaviest car in the field this weekend, thanks to a combination of compensation weight and Balance of Performance measures.

Urrutia held second as the best Lynk & Co driver, with Azcona putting in an encouraging performance in third as the best of the CUPRA drivers, with his car being the lightest in the field in Hungary.

Reigning champion Yann Ehrlacher put his Lynk & Co in fourth, just ahead of Berthon’s Audi in fifth.

Gilles Magnus was directly behind his team-mate in sixth, with Thed Björk, buoyed by a podium last time out in Spain, putting his Lynk & Co in seventh.

The top ten was completed by the CUPRa of Rob Huff, the Honda of top Hungarian Attila Tassi and the Audi of Frédéric Vervisch.

The session, held in hot and sunny conditions, was without incident as the whole field worked on set-ups for the weekend.

Wildcard entry Nicola Baldan, racing a third Target Competition-run Hyundai Elantra this weekend, was 22nd fastest, some 2.6 seconds off the pace.

Second practice is scheduled to get underway at 11:30 BST (12:30 CEST).

Session results

POS NO NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 29 Néstor GIROLAMI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 17 1:52.995
2 12 Santiago URRUTIA Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 16 1:53.121 0.126
3 96 Mikel AZCONA Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 19 1:53.137 0.142
4 68 Yann EHRLACHER Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 15 1:53.157 0.162
5 17 Nathanaël BERTHON Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 14 1:53.167 0.172
6 16 Gilles MAGNUS Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 17 1:53.223 0.228
7 11 Thed BJÖRK Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 17 1:53.357 0.362
8 79 Rob HUFF Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 20 1:53.368 0.373
9 9 Attila TASSI ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 15 1:53.451 0.456
10 22 Frédéric VERVISCH Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 17 1:53.494 0.499
11 28 Jordi GENÉ Zengő Motorsport Drivers’ Academy CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 17 1:53.500 0.505
12 18 Tiago MONTEIRO ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 15 1:53.636 0.641
13 69 Jean-Karl VERNAY Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team Hyundai Elantra N TCR 13 1:53.647 0.652
14 5 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR 16 1:53.647 0.652
15 100 Yvan MULLER Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 16 1:53.763 0.768
16 3 Gabriele TARQUINI BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR 18 1:53.971 0.976
17 8 Luca ENGSTLER Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team Hyundai Elantra N TCR 14 1:54.174 1.179
18 32 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 13 1:54.243 1.248
19 86 Esteban GUERRIERI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 17 1:54.270 1.275
20 19 Andreas BÄCKMAN Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR 9 1:54.611 1.616
21 55 Bence BOLDIZS Zengő Motorsport Drivers’ Academy CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 12 1:55.373 2.378
22 82 Nicola BALDAN Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR 18 1:55.616 2.621
23 26 Jessica BÄCKMAN Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N TCR 14 1:55.991 2.996
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