Nestor Girolami took his and the Honda Civic Type R TCR’s second pole position of the 2022 WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup season in qualifying at Vallelunga.
In searing heat, ‘Bebu’ saved the best lap for last in the pole position shootout to snatch top spot by almost a quarter of a second in what had otherwise been an incredibly tight qualifying session at the 3.222-kilometre circuit.
It is the fifth time Nestor has taken a WTCR qualifying pole position, and the first time he has achieved the feat on multiple occasions in the same season.
His early reward is 10 points towards his title challenge for setting the fastest time across qualifying, helping him to reduce his deficit to the current points leader.
He was also presented with the Trincea Hero Trophy by Vallelunga, which is awarded to the driver who takes the circuit’s fast and famous right/left kink at the highest speed.
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team-mate Esteban Guerrieri backed up that qualifying performance by also making it through to Q3.
Esteban, who had been fastest in Q1 and second in Q2, had a turbo issue on his shootout run that limited him to the fifth-fastest time in that session, but he nevertheless took six points for his best qualifying time.
It also marked the Argentinian’s third Q3 appearance of the season.
Attila Tassi qualified a season’s-best sixth for LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler, missing out on a place in Q3 by a mere 0.070s.
The Hungarian, who was unable to reach the line in time to complete another lap before the chequered flag was shown at the end of Q2, was another Honda driver to earn qualifying points thanks to his second-fastest time in Q1.
Having received a three-place grid penalty for an infringement in second practice, he will line up ninth for Race One then fifth on the partially reversed grid for Race Two.
Team-mate Tiago Monteiro’s 16th place was in no way indicative of the potential he showed across the rest of the qualifying day and in Friday’s ‘FP0’ test session.
Tiago had been in the top 10 in every session prior to qualifying, but had a complete absence of grip on his second and third new-tyre runs in Q1, which left him out of position.