Esteban Guerrieri headed an ultra-close Honda battle to make it through to Q2 in qualifying for Sunday’s WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup races at Motorland Aragon.
The Argentinian improved with his final effort in Q1, and that was enough to guide him through to the second part of qualifying as 0.068 seconds covered three Honda Racing drivers.
Once in Q2, Esteban set a best time of 2m06.646s in his Civic Type R TCR that fell just a tenth shy of 10th place and what would have been pole position on the partially reversed Race Two grid.
The 10-minute length of Q2 combined with lap times around the 5.344-kilometre Aragon circuit make it possible to record only one run, and though Esteban’s sole attempt had him 10th for much of the session he was bumped down to 11th after the chequered flag.
Earlier, in Q1, Nestor Girolami found himself just the wrong side of the cutoff in 13th having been half a tenth slower than his ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport team-mate.
That was particularly frustrating for ‘Bebu’ as he had set the fastest first sector at the time on his final run, and improved in sector two as well, before making a mistake into the Turn 12 left-hander that follows a long downhill run.
The other driver in that Honda trio was Attila Tassi, who was a mere 0.018s back from Nestor in 14th in his LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler Civic Type R TCR.
Having set the seventh-fastest time in FP1, Attila then experienced a vibration in the second practice session that was not diagnosed before qualifying, and felt he lost time in the higher-speed corners as a consequence.
His team-mate Tiago Monteiro was three positions further back in 17th.
Tiago experienced a number of undiagnosed issues throughout Saturday that magnified the already high pace deficit the car - carrying 40kg compensation weight for a third weekend in a row - traditionally experiences at Aragon.