Photo: Macau GP

Néstor Girolami explains qualifying problem

An electric problem derailed Néstor Girolami’s valiant bid for a front row grid slot at the TCR World Tour finale in Macau.

Driving a Honda Civic Type R FL5 TCR for the small MacPro Racing operation, Girolami was the only driver from outside the three leading manufacturers (Audi, Lynk & Co and Hyundai) to reach the concluding Q2 segment of Friday’s qualifying session.

The Argentinian recorded a strong first lap in Q2 to sit second on the timesheets after the opening runs, but was forced to abandon the session prematurely after parking up in pit lane with an apparent issue.

Girolami, who still managed to cling on to a strong fourth (which has since become third following a penalty for Mikel Azcona), has now explained what happened.

“First of all, I’m really happy to be here,” Girolami told TouringCarTimes. “It was a last-minute call and the support from MacPro was amazing. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here today.

“I did a good first lap in Q2 that put us in P2 straight away, but then unfortunately we had an electric problem, probably alternator, that then cost us the possibility to continue. We will try to sort the problem for tomorrow.

“It’s a shame, but it is what it is. I think with a second attempt I could have improved the lap time, but I’m happy with the lap I did in Q2.”

Girolami is set to split the three title contenders on the Race 1 grid tomorrow, lining up behind Norbert Michelisz and Yann Ehrlacher and just ahead of Rob Huff.

“It’s not a very easy situation to be in actually,” Girolami said. “You know the others are going for the championship. I will try to be as clean as possible, not be involved in anything, but also going for my goal, which is to finish the year on a high.”

The opening Macau race takes place at 12:50 local time (CET+7) on Saturday.