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.
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.