Hyundai pilots lead protocol of first qualification WTCR in SlovakiaMay 11, 2019
BMW factory driver in endurance racing Nick Catsburg won the first qualification stage of the WTCR at Slovakiaring, less than three hundredths ahead of sister Hyundai Norbert Michelis.
On the long straight Slovak course, the maximum speed and teamwork come to the fore, which could be observed in the first qualification of the weekend. Almost all pilots tried to work in pairs and groups, driving each other on a fast lap.
The pilots of the Korean brand dictated the pace in qualifying from the first minutes. Norbert Michelis in the first attempt showed the best time of 2.09.873 and held him until the very end of the session. Ironically, Nick Catsburg managed to drive the circle 0.028 seconds faster than Norby when he was on a fast lap in his air bag – lost due to the lack of downforce time on the twisted second sector was enough for the Dutchman to unexpectedly win the pole.
The third and last of 130 seconds was Ma Qing Hua on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta – the only car in the peloton without a weight handicap at this stage. Behind him are two Cupra Daniel Haglof and Tom Coronel, who confirmed good speed in training.
The sixth was Kevin Chekkon on the second Alfa Romeo, the seventh – Jean-Carl Verne at Audi, the eighth – Esteban Gerrieri at the leading Honda, and closed the top ten Frederic Vervish and Copper Bennani.
The big problems in Slovakiaking are Lynk & Co, which simply lacks the maximum speed. Ivan Müller qualified for the 18th, and his three teammates in the last three places.
The second qualification of the Slovak stage of the WTCR will be held on Sunday – the Saturday day will be given entirely to the 8-hour motorcycle race as part of the FIM EWC stage.
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