Nestor Girolami will start a WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup race from pole position for a third time in 2020, as his title hopes received a boost during qualifying at the Slovakiaring.

‘Bebu’, who has already started from pole at Zolder and the Nürburgring, finished 10th in the second part of qualifying – ensuring his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR will start Sunday’s reversed-grid race from the front of the grid.

With his points-leading rival due to start all three races from 15th, the Argentinian has a prime opportunity to make up ground in the title fight, having also qualified seventh for the opening race.

His team-mate Esteban Guerrieri secured the best qualifying result for any of the four Honda Civic Type R TCRs, ending Q2 an excellent sixth, less than two tenths away from a place in the pole position shootout.

Esteban, last year’s WTCR runner-up, felt he extracted the maximum from the Civic Type R TCR on his one Q2 run in securing sixth, having earlier qualified ninth for Sunday’s opening race.

Attila Tassi made it three Honda Civic Type R TCRs in the second part of qualifying by finishing 11th in Q1, but a small mistake on his first Q2 run meant he touched the wall and was unable to complete the session.

The Hungarian will therefore start the second and third races from 12th, though rain forecast for Sunday would offer him a chance to make up ground.

Tiago Monteiro was 13th in the first part of qualifying in his ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Civic Type R TCR, just missing out on a spot in Q2.

Despite being bumped from the cutoff for the second session after the chequered flag had fallen in Q1, the Portuguese driver was nevertheless happy with the improvements he and the team had made during Saturday.

Nestor Girolami

Nestor Girolami 29

"I'm so happy with the work we did as a team in qualifying. It was a great strategy to have four cars in a slipstream. The result of this was clearly better than working independently. It was important to get through to Q2, and once we were there the team gave me the right call to be in the top 10 in order to secure pole for race two. We are in a great position to score good points, so hopefully we can achieve a good result for the team and close the gap to those ahead of us - especially my main rival, who is starting all three races behind us. I'm a little bit concerned about some of the pace we have seen today, as it has surprised us and seems quite strange, but the most important thing for us is to focus on our job."

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Esteban Guerrieri

Esteban Guerrieri 86

"The job we did as a team was very, very well executed. We did a really good technical improvement during the day, and made the right changes for each car. We worked very well together between all four drivers, and played the strategy that we needed for the tow very well. I felt I constructed a very good lap to end up sixth in Q2, but that was our potential - the maximum - in terms of the lap time we were expecting from our experience. In terms of the overall picture from qualifying, I could see this result coming."

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Attila Tassi

Attila Tassi 9

"Qualifying wasn't as expected, obviously. In Q1 I was held up a little bit on my first attempt by some other cars leaving the pitlane, and I was also towing the rest of the Hondas, but I was happy enough with my second attempt, which got me through. In Q2, I was already one tenth faster in Turn 1 compared to my dashboard, and I was trying to do Turn 2 flat, but I made a small mistake, touched the grass a little bit, and it was enough for the car to start oversteering. I stayed flat until the final moment, otherwise my impact could have been worse, but when I knew it was over I just waited for the straight and then used full brakes. I touched the wall and spun, but I checked the car and it seems the chassis is OK, without much damage. I was trying to put the maximum on the table - these things happen in motorsport.”

ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport
Tiago Monteiro

Tiago Monteiro 18

"I think we've got close to a very good set-up now, and I finally felt as though I had a good balance at the front and rear with the tyre pressures. I'm the last in the championship in terms of the Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCRs, so I had to sacrifice myself in terms of the tow - but I know I have to play the team game. Even by doing so, I still managed my fastest lap of the weekend. The car felt very strong in the infield section, but of course losing four tenths in a straight line is just too much to make up. We missed Q2 by a very small margin, so I'm frustrated, but I always look at the bigger picture and this is a team sport."

ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport
Dominik Greiner

Dominik Greiner

Team Manager

"Tonight we can go away very happy with the job all our team did. It was intense, with FP1, FP2 and qualifying all in one day but they worked perfectly together to maximise their one-lap performance out on track. Attila's incident was a bit of a shame, but it's part of racing and the car is OK; there is work for the guys to do tonight, but we know they will get it done like the professionals they are. We're sorry as well for Tiago that he didn't quite get to Q2, but on the other hand Esteban and Nestor are in a good position to score good points. The strong performance during qualifying of our competitors looks a bit strange, so we will continue to monitor this closely."

Münnich Motorsport
WTCR Race of Slovakia

Slovakia Ring, Slovakia

WTCR 2020, Round 3

Saturday 10 Oct 2020, 19:27 Europe/London
# Driver Num Nationality Nat. Total Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Nathanael Berthon 17 FRA 10 Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi 2:09.510
2 Norbert Michelisz 1 HUN 4 BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai +2:09.793
3 Nick Catsburg 88 NDL 7 Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team Hyundai +2:09.881
4 Tom Coronel 31 NDL 2 Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi +2:09.939
5 Gilles Magnus 16 BEL 3 Comtoyou Racing Audi +2:10.274
6 Esteban Guerrieri 86 ARG - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +2:10.422
7 Jean-Karl Vernay 69 FRA 3 Mulsanne Srl Alfa Romeo +2:10.423
8 Santiago Urrutia 12 URU - Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co +2:10.960
9 Luca Filippi 25 ITA - Mulsanne Srl Alfa Romeo +2:11.068
10 Nestor Girolami 29 ARG - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda +2:12.393
11 Gabriele Tarquini 30 ITA 1 BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai +2:14.195
12 Attila Tassi 9 HUN - ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda +2:11.439
13 Tiago Monteiro 18 POR - ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda +2:11.282
14 Yvan Muller 100 FRA - Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co +2:11.348
15 Yann Ehrlacher 68 FRA - Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co +2:11.422
16 Bence Boldizs 55 HUN - Zengo Motorsport Cupra +2:11.429
17 Mikel Azcona 96 SPA - Zengo Motorsport Cupra +2:11.732
18 Petr Fulin 44 CZE - Fullin Race Academy Cupra +2:11.820
19 Luca Engstler 8 GER - Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team Hyundai +2:11.836
20 Aurelien Comte 34 AND - Vukovic Motorsport Renault +2:11.881
21 Thed Björk 11 SWE - Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co +2:11.892
22 Gabor Kismarty-Lechner 99 HUN - Zengo Motorsport Cupra +2:14.272