Esteban Guerrieri ‘ready for the fight’ after tight WTCR qualifying

After a slow start to Friday during practice, Munnich Motorsport surprised most people in the FIA World Touring Car Cup paddock when they found a lot of extra speed during qualifying. In the end, Esteban Guerrieri wound up as the best-placed of the Honda drivers in fourth, despite piloting the heaviest car on the grid. 

The Civic FK8 TCR – which is burdened with the maximum compensation ballast allocation permitted in WTCR – had been struggling in the early stages at Autodrom Most. Nevertheless, Guerrieri’s side of the garage were able to pull off an impressive turnaround.

“It was a good day, we just made it progressively better,” the Argentine said. “Obviously we knew our deficits and our strengths around the track, so we worked our way to try to improve the whole package; the driving, the car, the brakes – which was a bit of an issue in FP1.

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“I was trying the limits as well, even in FP2 on my new tyre run, because I went off at the fast right-hander. So it was all about trying to find the maximum and I think we did. 

“It was so tight. In Q1, first to seventeenth is half a second, so it’s extremely tight and you just need to be nailing every corner, every braking [zone]. It was a lot of fun, I really enjoy the track.

“In the end there was a little bit of regret in Q3 because we missed P2 by three hundredths [of a second], something like that. But in the end it’s tight like this, so I’m happy to have scored seven points [from Q1 and Q3], and to have maximised the potential. 

“I’m thankful to the team, they gave me a very good car and we are ready for the fight!”

Guerrieri may have to fight a little harder than he expected in race one however. After being deemed by the stewards to have impeded Tom Coronel during qualifying, Guerrieri will have to serve a two-place penalty in the reversed-grid opener, meaning that he’ll start from ninth instead of seventh. 

However, Guerrieri’s fourth-place grid slot for Sunday’s main race remains unaffected.

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