Mikel Azcona leads Hyundai 1-2 in Mid-Ohio qualifying session

Mikel Azcona leads Hyundai 1-2 in Mid-Ohio qualifying session

07 June 2024

Mikel Azcona was the class of the field in the qualifying session for the US round of the KUMHO FIA TCR World Tour at Mid-Ohio, leading team-mate Norbert Michelisz by half a second to claim his first pole position in the series.

Azcona led a Hyundai top three lockout in Q1, topping the 20-minute segment with a time of 1:27.014, with the next phalanx of four Lynk & Co Cyan Racing cars headed by Ma Qing Hua. The three GOAT Racing Honda cars followed next, while John Filippi was the top-placed Audi driver in 12th, sitting on the bubble of the drop zone throughout most of the session, but he safely outqualified three of the four guest drivers Harry Gottsacker, Megan Tomlinson, and Riley Pegram.

Bryan Herta Autosport’s Mark Wilkins, the 41-year-old Canadian, was the only guest driver to make it through to Q2 with the 11th-fastest time, outpacing Filippi by over a second.

Azcona quickly threw down the gauntlet in Q2, setting a time of 1:27.435, later improving to a time of 1:27.178 near the end of the session. The Lynk & Co Cyan Racing cars of Yann Ehrlacher and Santiago Urrutia, both carrying heavy ballast and both with engine change penalties in Race 1, held back before setting improvements just good enough to ensure a good position for the reversed grid race, with seventh and eighth fastest times for Urrutia and Ehrlacher respectively helping secure a second row lockout for Race 2. As far as Race 1 is concerned, they will be demoted to 12th and 13th on the grid by their penalties.

Thed Björk was the closest challenger to Azcona, albeit seven-tenths down right until the last moment, when Michelisz improved to within half a second of Azcona and claimed P2, pushing back Björk to P3 just ahead of team-mate Ma.

Esteban Guerrieri was the fastest of the GOAT Racing Honda team in fifth, while his teammates Dušan Borković and Marco Butti were ninth and tenth, therefore securing the front row for Race 2, with Butti provisionally set to start on pole position. Filippi just missed out on P10 by a tenth of a second, while Wilkins qualified in 12th for his series debut.


Mid-Ohio - Qualifying

1:27.178 – Mikel Azcona (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N)

1:27.685 – Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N)

1:27.929 – Thed Björk (Lynk & Co Cyan Racing, Lynk & Co 03 FL)


Championship points

  1. N. Michelisz, 107 pts; 2. S. Urrutia, 86; 3. N. Girolami 84


Further information and images @ www.fiatcrworldtour.com



Saturday – Race 1: 08:30 (14:30 CEST) live streaming

Saturday – Race 2: 17:45 (23:45 CEST) live streaming


Picture: WSC/MotorSportMedia



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