WTCR 2021
Round 7

Front-row start for Guerrieri in Italy

it Adria

Esteban Guerrieri maximised his WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup title hopes in qualifying at Adria as he secured a front-row starting position for Sunday’s opening race.

Front-row start for Guerrieri in Italy

The Civic Type R TCR racer set the ninth-fastest time in Q2 to seal second on the grid for the partially reversed grid race, as the Honda Racing drivers grinded out pace on Saturday.

Having earlier squeezed through Q1 by 0.015 seconds - at the expense of one of his title rivals - a place in the top-10 was the maximum the Argentinian had expected, as for a third round in a row the track layout was not best-suited to the car.

His team-mate Nestor Girolami qualified a fine sixth in the other ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Civic Type R TCR, as he extended his streak of appearances in the top 10 in qualifying to four rounds.

‘Bebu’ will start Sunday’s races from fifth and sixth as he looks to boost Esteban’s and the team’s title bids, as well as his own standing in the Drivers’ Championship.

Attila Tassi showed a real return to form across practice and qualifying, setting the seventh-fastest time in Q1 aboard his ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Civic Type R TCR.

The Hungarian was on course for a place in the Q3 shootout session on his single attempt in the second part of qualifying, but played the team game to ensure Esteban kept his Race One starting position.

He qualified 11th, but has a three-place grid penalty for Race One.

Attila’s team-mate Tiago Monteiro was thwarted by a clutch issue throughout qualifying that meant his session was effectively a write-off.

He pushed on but, having already been affected by the issue on his first lap, abandoned his second run and as a result will start both races from 19th.

Esteban Guerrieri
Esteban Guerrieri 86
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
We have to look at this as a positive result that puts us in the position to maximise our possibilities tomorrow, so thank you to everyone in the team today for their efforts. The goal was to get into the top 10 and we achieved exactly that, so it was a good day from this perspective. We are where we expected to be compared to the pacesetters - they are quicker than us - but we will try to score big tomorrow from the front row of the reversed grid.

Néstor Girolami
Néstor Girolami 29
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
It was a bit marginal to be in the top 10, but after a really tight Q1 and Q2 taking sixth place means we have two good starting positions. I'm pretty happy with the performance so I want to congratulate all of my mechanics and the engineers. It was almost the perfect job, we just potentially could have been ninth and 10th with Esteban at the end of Q2. We have to say a big thanks to Attila, as he had to give up his lap which is never a nice thing to do, but he is a professional and understands that at this time we're here to support Esteban. Tomorrow, the drivers behind in Race One are fighting for the Championship and don't want to take risks, so maybe there can be opportunities.

Attila Tassi
Attila Tassi 9
ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport
It was a very productive day, and after four weekends that were not ideal for me it was a great feeling to have the rhythm back again. I found it motivating to be fastest of the Civic Type R TCRs, and from FP1 to FP2, then FP2 to qualifying, I felt I was consistently able to improve. In Q2 we only had one shot - this was decided with the team - and I was going for Q3, but then I lifted off to allow Esteban to stay in the top 10. It was a sacrifice and after this long wait I would have loved to have been in Q3, but I'm here to play the team game as a Honda driver and it's good for the team that Esteban is in a position from the reversed grid to keep his Championship hopes alive.

Tiago Monteiro
Tiago Monteiro 18
ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport
It’s a very frustrating day. Overall things were not so bad in FP1, the performance was decent, but we had a couple of issues in FP2 that prevented us from getting through everything we wanted to, including a proper performance run. Even so, the potential was there to be in the top 10 once again. Unfortunately, I had a clutch problem and it got worse as we got to qualifying. You only have two attempts, and I only really got half of the first attempt and that was it for me. Starting near the back is not ideal, so we’ll have to try to survive.

Dominik Greiner
Dominik Greiner
Münnich Motorsport
It was a busy day with a lot to manage for our crew, so at the end of it to get Esteban on the front row of the grid for Race One - which we always expected to have the most opportunities in - and for Nestor to have got near the top five overall, is close to the best-possible outcome we could have expected. For that, we have to say well done to the guys for finding a competitive package. Attila was there as well on pace all day, so it's good to have performance across the cars. It's a shame that Tiago encountered problems; we hope to have those fixed for tomorrow.

Mads Fischer
Mads Fischer
JAS Motorsport
It's another day where the drivers and Münnich Motorsport teams have done a good job to get pace from the Civic Type R TCR on a circuit that it is not best-suited to. The most important thing right now is that Esteban keeps his title aspirations going - so let's hope he can convert his good starting spot for Race One into strong points. We've seen good speed from all four drivers at some point today; Nestor and Attila both had excellent performances over one lap, and Tiago was on the pace in FP1 when he had the chance to show it, so it's a shame he had issues by the time it came to qualifying.

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