Gabriele Tarquini’s last qualifying lap secured him pole position for tomorrow, the first since Oschersleben 2007. It was a successful qualifying for SEAT at their home track as they claimed the top four grid spots (Tarquini, Yvan Muller, Jordi Gené and Tiago Monteiro).
A flurry of action at the end of Q1 saw BMW drivers; Jörg Müller, Alessandro Zanardi Sergio Hernández and Andy Priaulx denied a place in Q2.
Q1 – While Muller had the fastest time for the majority of the session it was his SEAT Sport team-mate Rickard Rydell who bettered him towards the end. Rydell’s lap of 1:45.424 was 0.092 quicker than Muller’s while a third SEAT man, Monteiro, went through to Q2 as third fastest (1:45.542). Fourth fastest was Augusto Farfus, the only BMW to make the cut.
All three of the Chevrolet drivers entered Q2. Alain Menu was the fastest with a time of 1:45.681 followed by Nicola Larini who was seventh (1:45.854) and Robert Huff (1:46.038) who was tenth and used his last lap to knock Jörg Müller out of the Q2 running. Jordi Gené and Gabriele Tarquini also went into Q2, as sixth and eighth, while Tom Coronel went through as ninth and the only independent driver despite joining the session late due to starter motor problems.
Q2 – While the Chevrolet cars waited in the garage, SEAT Sport’s cars hit the attack straight away. However, it was in fact Tarquini’s last lap of 1:44.414 that gave him pole position. With this, Muller was demoted to second on the grid while Gené and Monteiro filed in third and fourth. Farfus posted a time of 1:45.080 mid way into the session which secured him fifth position, ahead of Chevrolet man Menu (1:45.314). The Chevrolet cars hit the track with time for two flying laps – Huff qualified eighth and Larini tenth.
The remaining two positions went to Rydell in ninth (the Swede spoiled his last attemp running wide well beyond the kerbs) and Coronel who put in a fantastic last lap to secure seventh.
However, the Dutchman eventually had his Q2 times disallowed after his car was found to be underweight during the technical checks.