WTCR 2022
Round 6

Girolami takes second 2022 pole position at Vallelunga

it Autodromo Vallelunga

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.

Girolami takes second 2022 pole position 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.

Néstor Girolami
Néstor Girolami 29
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
The first thing I want to do is congratulate the entire ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team because they did the perfect job. I had an amazing car today, and the lap was absolutely on the limit. I knew that it was now or never, because we had a 40-point gap to the Championship leader, who had been fastest in Q3, and we needed to beat him. Of course, there are still two long, hot races to go. It will be tough, especially because this year’s races are longer than last year’s, but starting first gives us an opportunity to protect the engine and the tyres by being in clear air.

Esteban Guerrieri
Esteban Guerrieri 86
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
In general it was a good qualifying session, as we were competitive throughout and achieved our target of being in the top 10. I’m a little bit frustrated with Q3 because when you are as fast as we were before, you want to make use of the opportunity and be on top, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. We had a cracked turbo that developed at the end of Q2 and that cost me two tenths alone in the first sector. Even so, I’m happy for the team and Nestor for taking pole position. Starting fifth and sixth for the two races is not bad, so let’s try to do a good job from there.

Attila Tassi
Attila Tassi 9
LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler
I had a productive day and we developed the car’s set-up nicely throughout, despite the fact we had not tested here before. When it came to qualifying the car felt amazing and the pace was there to back that up. The field was so tight it was hard to manage our positioning, but to take my best Saturday result of the season so far was a good result and even with a grid penalty for Race One we are in a solid position and potentially able to grab some good points. That’s the aim for Sunday.

Tiago Monteiro
Tiago Monteiro 18
LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler
It’s another frustrating day, particularly because we had the possibility to do something good. Throughout testing and practice I was in the top 10, with some good lap times that still left a margin. When I put new tyres on for qualifying the first run was actually quite decent, the grip level and balance was good, but on the next two sets it was impossible to push. I had no grip whatsoever. We’re talking to different people to understand what that could be because we barely changed the set-up after FP2. I’m scratching my head because I didn’t drive badly, there were no problems with the car, and on the data there was margin to be easily in the top five. So something is up.

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