Michelisz and Vernay wins pole positions at Aragon

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Two pole positions for Norbert Michelisz – for Races 1 and 2 - and one for Jean-Karl Vernay – for Race 3. This was the verdict of the WTCR Qualifying at Motorland Aragon.

A session in which both the two main title contenders, the championship leader Yann Ehrlacher and his first competitor Esteban Guerrieri were surprisingly eliminated at the end of Q1, and so will start all the three races from P18 and P19 respectively.

The reigning champion Michelisz topped Q1 and claimed the pole for Race 1 with a lap of 2:05.838, ahead of Gilles Magnus (2:05.923) and Vernay (2:06.038). Gabrielle Tarquini set the fourth fastest lap (2:06.131) and Thed Björk was fifth (2:06.424). Mikel Azcona, Nathanaël Berthon, Santiago Urrutia, Luca Engstler, Bence Boldizs, Yvan Muller and Néstor Girolami rounded off the top-twelve for Q2. 

Urrutia set the pace in Q2 with a lap of 2:06.012, but Magnus was faster than him by two thousandths of a second; Berthon (2:06.453), Vernay (2:06.547) and Björk (2:06.590) ranked third, fourth and fifth, securing their places in Q3.

Three drivers had all their laps disallowed for track limit infringements – Boldisz, Engstler and Michelisz – which meant that only nine cars were classified with valid lap times. And so, Michelisz, who had been the fastest of the not-classified trio in Q1, was gifted with the pole position on the reversed grid for Race 2.  

Vernay was the first to hit the track for Q3 and although his lap of 2:06.367 was not his fastest (compared to the 2:06.038 set in Q1), it was good enough to grab the pole. Urrutia who was the next up, made a couple of mistakes and was timed at 2:07.152, while Berthon’s Audi stopped on the track due to a driveshaft issue.

Eventually, only Björk and Magnus were in the position to steal the pole from Vernay, but the Swede clocked a 2:06.805 that placed him third, while Magnus made mistake and had to settle for second with his 2:06.600.

Race 1 will start on Sunday at 09:15 local time (CET).


2:06.367 – Jean-Karl Vernay (Team Mulsanne, Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce)

2:06.600 – Gilles Magnus (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS)

2:06.805 – Thed Björk (Cyan Performance, Lynk & Co 03)

2:07.152 – Santiago Urrutia (Cyan Performance, Lynk & Co 03)

No time – Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS)

Championship points

1. Yann Ehrlacher 169 pts

2. Esteban Guerrieri 147

3. Yvan Muller 114