Honda Racing drivers Nestor Girolami and Esteban Guerrieri sealed a magnificent 1-2 in qualifying for the opening round of the WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup season in Pau.
The ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team-mates set a pace that proved unbeatable in the final part of qualifying, as ‘Bebu’ secured the fourth pole position of his WTCR career.
Having been fastest in Q2, Esteban elected to go first in the Q3 shootout and laid down a 1m19.937s lap of the 2.760-kilometre street circuit, which was bettered only by Nestor’s 1m19.783s.
The result gave the Honda Civic Type R TCR duo the maximum 18 points on offer on Saturday, as the pole time from Nestor plus Esteban’s pacesetting effort in Q2 were the fastest across the three parts of qualifying.
There was reason to celebrate at LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler, too, as Attila Tassi pulled out a lap late in the second part of qualifying to secure ninth - giving him a place on the front row of the grid for the reversed-grid Race Two.
Having been bumped out of the top 10 in the final two minutes of a much-delayed Q2 session, which was halted for close to an hour so barrier repairs could be completed, Attila kept his cool to deliver a lap that guaranteed him second on the grid for the final race of the weekend.
That lap was made all the more impressive by the fact the team discovered after qualifying that he had been carrying some differential damage throughout the day.
Team-mate Tiago Monteiro was 15th, having earlier enjoyed the evolution of his Civic Type R TCR through practice before qualifying.
There, the Portuguese was unable to find the sweet spot with either of two new sets of front tyres he ran and ultimately switched to a used set.
That provided a better feeling and he improved his time, but ultimately fell just short of a place in Q2.