My GTI falls flat on it's face coming out of corners with ESP on. I've only used it (accidentally) at an autocross school that wasn't running timing, but I'd say a good 2 seconds difference or more. If you have any wheel spin coming out of corners it cuts power until you get traction and just bogs you way down and you lose all your momentum.
While I obviously wasn't there when you ran, I very seriously doubt traction control was the difference. Sounds more like some other type of issue or weird random chance. I'd be very surprised if anyone else has had similar experiences in an MKV