Second guessing weather “almost impossible” says polesitter Néstor Girolami
Nürburgring race two polesitter Néstor Girolami admitted that he and his Münnich Motorsport team were ‘guessing a little bit’ as conditions before WTCR qualifying continued to fluctuate.
The Honda Civic Type-R driver secured his second pole position in a row at the demanding Nordschleife after posting a time of 8m54.791, beating Hyundai’s Jean-Karl Vernay by over seven-tenths of a second.
Rain failed to hit the 25km circuit throughout the 40-minutes of running, but had threatened to affect the first qualifying session of the year, forcing all teams to make a call on what tyres to use.
Girolami says that, while his opening lap was far from perfect, the decision to go with all slicks was the right one.
“We started qualifying in quite mixed conditions so we were guessing a little bit and the first lap was definitely not perfect,” Girolami said.
“The car balance was a little bit understeery so we worked with my engineer and we made the right choice to go for the second attempt, and then I improved by around seven-tenths. That sounds a lot but at this circuit with an eight-minute lap, it’s really not a lot at all.
“So, I am very happy with the result, two years in a row to get pole position is not easy, especially at the Nordschleife where you have to put everything together, the concentration that this track demands is crazy.”
With weather always a factor at the Nordschleife, Girolami remains coy over his chances of victory on Saturday, and feels only in the races will the field’s true car pace be properly understood.
He added: “To be honest, I have no clue what goes on at the Nordschleife because every time it is sunny and clear and then the race weekend comes and it is raining.
“It happened to me once in NLS when the first race was cancelled because of snow and now all the weekend was really nice, but getting closer to the races, it will be more of a gamble.
“Tomorrow will be more than that so we have to be prepared for everything and I hope we take the right decision at the right time and have a good race for Honda to start the year on the right foot.
“Even though I was fastest today, it can change tomorrow and you can only see the pace of the car tomorrow in the race, so we need to have a good balance with the car, make a good gap and try to score well in the reversed grid race.”