LADA's James Thompson - both the driver and the team being new to the Slovakia Ring this year - ended up in 15th, with Thompson admitting afterward that "We've got a lot to think about tonight."
Stefano D'Aste in his own run PB Motorsport BMW ended up in 16th, with Charles Ng in 17th; Fernando Monje had a trouble free run to an unspectacular 18th just ahead of the German duo, René Münnich and Franz Engstler in their own team cars. Relative newcomer, Mikael Kozlovskiy was still getting to grips with a LADA World touring car and the demands of a new circuit and he took 21st place on the grid with the slowest completed laptime of the afternoon.
Two drivers failed to complete a flying lap in qualifying and will start form the back - if they can get their cars in a fit state to compete, that is.
Rapidly earning himself the title of 'Unluckiest touring car racer of 2013' is Tom Boardman, who only just managed to repair his car in time for this weekend after his monster crash at Marrakech three weeks ago. That had involved fitting a brand new engine into his SEAT León WTCC but the shiny new engine gave out on him him in FP2, and another expensive replacement had similarly short-lived success when Boardman suffered a misfire just minutes into qualifying on his first tour of the circuit, leaving him with no laptime recorded.
But at least that was a gentle exit from the session by comparison with ROAL Motorsport's Darryl O'Young, whose own qualifying effort came to a crunching halt in the barriers on his first flying lap attempt just five minutes into Q1. The BMW 320 ran wide at turn 9 and did extensive damage to the right hand side of the car, which forced the session to be red-flagged for nearly half an hour while the wrecked car was loaded onto a hauler, the barrier repaired and the debris picked up from the crash site.
Following his hit, O'Young was required to make a routine precautionary visit to the circuit medical centre. He was quickly released and will be okay to race on Sunday - assuming that the same can be said for his race car and that the BMW can be put back together again overnight in time to make it for the start the race.
"The car suffered from extensive damage at the back," said the team's anxious technical director, Pietro Speronello. "We have to check how much the roll cage and shells have been twisted. But of course we will try to repair it in time for tomorrow's races."
by Dexter Fielding
Full qualifying times available
Full Saturday practice 2 times
Full Saturday practice 1 times