Zengõ Motorsport's Norbert Michelisz put his Honda Civic WTCC in fourth place on the grid for the first race at Termas de Río Hondo in Argentina, just under a tenth of a second behind the third-placed Citroën C-Elysée of Sébastien Loeb, with the factory Hondas of Tiago Monteiro and Gabriele Tarquini set to start fifth and seventh.
The Hondas showed improved pace with their new upgrades throughout the weekend, but the Citroëns seemed to up their pace during qualifying, taking their seventh pole position from eight races with José María López.
Nevertheless, the Hondas were all markedly faster throughout Saturday, and seemed to have got the better of the majority of the Chevrolet Cruze equipped drivers, with only the ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet of Tom Chilton splitting the pack of Civics.
Michelisz's rapid performance came despite missing the Friday practice session due to travel problems getting to Argentina.
"My flights from Europe were delayed and it took me three days to get here and I missed the test session on Friday which is always important to set up the car," he said. "We had to do that this morning in Free Practice and I was very happy with the car's balance right away. I have to thank the Zengő Motorsport team – the car is great and I'm ready for the races tomorrow. It's very important to see that we are now closer to the competition."
Tiago Monteiro was caught out in the one-lap shootout, making a mistake on his only timed run and set an unrepresentative time in Q3, half a second slower than his time from Q2.
"I made a small mistake in turn 9 so then I had to push the front tyres harder and then that loses more time," said Monteiro. "I always try the maximum, sometimes it works but sometimes not so good, but we are in a competitive position for Race 1 and we will see what happens."