Néstor Girolami tops first Hungaroring practice with late lap

Münnich Motorsport’s Néstor Girolami (Honda Civic Type-R TCR) was the fastest driver in the first first WTCR free practice session at the Hungaroring, with the Argentinian pipping Cyan Racing driver Santiago Urrutia (Lynk & Co 03 TCR) on his last lap.

Girolami pulled a last effort as the chequered flag waved over the track, setting a time of 1:52.995, the only driver to break the 1:53 barrier, 0.126 seconds faster than Urrutia, who had headed the session until that point.

Zengo Motorsport’s Mikel Azcona (Cupra Leon Competición) was third, 0.142 seconds behind Girolami, with reigning champion Yann Ehrlacher (Lynk & Co 03 TCR) next, 0.162 seconds off the pace.

Comtoyou Racing’s Nathanaël Berthon (Audi RS 3 LMS) was fifth, followed by team-mate Gilles Magnus, 0.228 seconds off the pace.

Lynk & Co driver Thed Björk was seventh, with Zengo Motorsport’s Rob Huff (Cupra Leon Competición) in eighth position, 0.373 seconds behind Girolami.

Münnich Motorsport’s Attila Tassi was the fastest among the local heroes in ninth place, with Comtoyou’s Frédéric Vervisch (Audi RS 3 LMS) completing the top ten, 0.499 seconds off the pace.

The session was dismal for the Hyundais, with championship leader Jean-Karl Vernay (Hyundai Elantra N TCR) the fastest in 13th place.

Girolami said after the session: “Everybody is with different tyres, we don’t know the use everyone is making. I felt very comfortable with the car and was happy, but we have to focus on qualifying to make sure we do the right thing.”

The WTCR field returns to track action for Free Practice 2 at 12:30 CEST.