Mikel Azcona bags crucial pole position in Bahrain

FIA World Touring Car Cup points leader Mikel Azcona secured pole position for the second WTCR race in Bahrain on Saturday, after emerging as the fastest driver in Friday’s three-part session.

Azcona was a tenth of a second faster than Comtoyou Racing’s Nathanaël Berthon in the all-important Q3 session, although it had looked like Azcona’s Hyundai team-mate Norbert Michelisz was to be the man to beat.

Michelisz, who went out on track third in the Q3 running order, ultimately ended up with the fastest of all first and second sectors, before dropping almost a second in the three-turn final sector.

- Advertisement -

That meant the Hungarian was just fourth fastest, over three tenths off the pace. Pointedly, Azcona thanked Michelisz on the team radio after he was informed he had pole, implying Michelisz had perhaps backed off in the final sector to ensure Azcona scored pole and bagged the extra points available for doing so.

Azcona’s closest championship rival, Münnich Motorsport’s Néstor Girolami, was third fastest, just 0.160 seconds slower than his rival.

Nicky Catsburg in the third and wildcard Hyundai was fifth, the Dutchman having had his lap time removed for exceeding track limits at Turn 7, although it would have left him in that position anyway even if the time had stood.

Team Engstler’s Attila Tassi was the top driver to not progress beyond Q2, putting his Honda in sixth, three tenths off the best Q2 lap time posted by Azcona.

Comtoyou’s Gilles Magnus was seventh, over half a second off the pace as the second-best Audi driver, ahead of the second Münnich Honda of Esteban Guerrieri in eighth.

The top ten was completed by Comtoyou wildcard Franco Girolami and his team-mate Mehdi Bennani, giving the latter the partially-reversed grid pole position for Friday’s first race.

Both of the Zengő Motorsport CUPRAs of Dániel Nagy and Bence Boldizs made it through to Q2, although the progress stopped there for the Hungarians, as they qualified in 11th and 12th respectively for both races, over a second off the Q2 pace.

Their progression meant that, perhaps surprisingly, the Audi of Tom Coronel failed to progress beyond Q1, with the Dutchman being over a second slower than Q1 pace-setter Azcona in 13th.

Tiago Monteiro continued with his single-lap pace struggles in 14th, 1.253 seconds off the pace – meaning it is the sixth time out of seven multi-part qualifying sessions in 2022 that the Team Engstler driver has failed to get beyond Q1.

Wildcard entry Viktor Davidovski completed the times in his Comtoyou Audi in 15th, a further four tenths of a second adrift of Monteiro.

Q3 results

POS NO NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 96 Mikel AZCONA BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR 3 2:11.061
2 17 Nathanaël BERTHON Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 3 2:11.175 0.114
3 29 Néstor GIROLAMI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 3 2:11.221 0.160
4 5 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR 3 2:11.422 0.361
5 88 Nicky CATSBURG BRC Hyundai N Racing Team Hyundai Elantra N TCR 3 Disallowed N/A

Q2 results

POS NO NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 96 Mikel AZCONA BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR 3 2:11.177
2 17 Nathanaël BERTHON Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 3 2:11.299 0.122
3 29 Néstor GIROLAMI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 4 2:11.391 0.214
4 5 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR 3 2:11.450 0.273
5 88 Nicky CATSBURG BRC Hyundai N Racing Team Hyundai Elantra N TCR 4 2:11.504 0.327
6 9 Attila TASSI Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 4 2:11.505 0.328
7 16 Gilles MAGNUS Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 3 2:11.697 0.520
8 86 Esteban GUERRIERI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 3 2:11.811 0.634
9 72 Franco GIROLAMI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 4 2:11.997 0.820
10 25 Mehdi BENNANI Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 4 2:12.019 0.842
11 99 Dániel NAGY Zengő Motorsport Services Kft CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 3 2:12.360 1.183
12 66 Bence BOLDIZS Zengő Motorsport Services Kft CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 3 2:12.730 1.553

Q1 results

POS NO NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 96 Mikel AZCONA BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR 7 2:11.428
2 5 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR 7 2:11.538 0.110
3 29 Néstor GIROLAMI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 7 2:11.717 0.289
4 86 Esteban GUERRIERI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 7 2:11.749 0.321
5 16 Gilles MAGNUS Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 6 2:11.838 0.410
6 17 Nathanaël BERTHON Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 8 2:11.931 0.503
7 25 Mehdi BENNANI Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 8 2:12.029 0.601
8 9 Attila TASSI Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 7 2:12.088 0.660
9 72 Franco GIROLAMI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 7 2:12.205 0.777
10 88 Nicky CATSBURG BRC Hyundai N Racing Team Hyundai Elantra N TCR 7 2:12.207 0.779
11 66 Bence BOLDIZS Zengő Motorsport Services Kft CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 8 2:12.376 0.948
12 99 Dániel NAGY Zengő Motorsport Services Kft CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 7 2:12.524 1.096
13 33 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 7 2:12.541 1.113
14 18 Tiago MONTEIRO Liqui Moly Team Engstler Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 7 2:12.681 1.253
15 110 Viktor DAVIDOVSKI Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 7 2:13.058 1.630
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected

7,273FansLike
6,647FollowersFollow

Must Read

- Advertisement -

Related News

- Advertisement -