WTCC QUALIFYING REPORT
Former champion Yvan Muller will be on pole for Race 1 in Curitiba tomorrow, for the second year in succession. In a closely fought session the top seven cars ended within 0.2 seconds of each other. Chevrolet dominated the session with Alain Menu (1:23.829) and Rob Huff (1:23.833) being placed third and fourth. Only Jordi Gené in his SEAT León TDI managed to split the team mates by jumping to second with his lap of 1:23.757 in the dying seconds.
Q1- Rob Huff dominated Q1 smashing the circuit qualifying record of 1:24.196 with his early lap of 1:23.831. Despite being the first driver of the weekend to lap in under 1:24 he continued to push, beating his own time in the final minutes to sail through to Q2 with a time of 1:23.630.
His Chevrolet team mates Alain Menu (1:23.730) and Yvan Muller (1:23.923) also jumped up the order in the final minutes to make it a Chevrolet top three. Augusto Farfus (1:24.006) was the top BMW racer with Norbert Michelisz putting in a great lap in his SEAT León TDI, while in danger of dropping out the top ten, to post the fifth quickest time of 1:24.019.
Tiago Monteiro and Tom Coronel were left to fight for the final spot in Q2 and eventually, with a lap of 1:24.558, the Dutchman kicked his team-mate off by only four thousandths of a second.
Stefano D’Aste’s time of 1:25.153 jumped him ahead of Darryl O’Young to lead the Independents‘, claiming the 13th position overall.
Q2- As the top ten drivers headed into the final 10-minute shoot out, Chevrolet was quick to assert their dominance with Muller, Menu and Huff topping the timesheet. As the chequered flag approached a nine-car slipstream of cars headed out on track with only Farfus remaining in the pits. Muller improved to secure his pole position while Gené’s final lap of 1:23.757 claimed a front row start for SR-Sport.
A mistake from the consistently quick newcomer Michelisz meant he ran wide through the Curva da Vitoria hindering his own, Menu’s and Priaulx’s final run, although the Swiss managed to salvage third ahead of team mate Huff. Reigning champion Tarquini claimed fifth ahead of Priaulx and Farfus, a disappointing result after the BMW 320si’s had been setting the pace for most of the weekend.
Danish racer Michel Nykjær posted the eighth quickest time and will start Race 1 tomorrow as the best of the rookies, while Coronel and Michelisz rounded out the top ten.
WTCC HSBC Race of Brazil – Autódromo Internacional de Curitiba – 6 / 7 March 2010