Tiago Monteiro claimed his first WTCC pole position since 2007 for his home event at the Autódromo Internacional de Algarve, today. The Portuguese driver recorded a quickest time of 1:55.372 despite an earlier collision with Andy Priaulx’s BMW and will start alongside Chevrolet’s Yvan Muller (1:55.425) on the front row for tomorrow’s Race 1 ahead of BMW’s Augusto Farfus (1:55.675).
Colin Turkington (1:56.698) ended the session tenth and top of the independents with Norbert Michelisz (1:55.991) in sixth as the best rookie.
Q1 – The drama started early on with local racer Monteiro colliding with Priaulx at T12 resulting in them both having to return to the pits before recording a flying lap. Priaulx was straight back out while the SR-Sport team did some fast work to repair the damage to rear right of Monteiro’s SEAT León TDI, getting him out with half the 20-minute session still remaining.
Gabriele Tarquini was provisionally quickest with a time of 1:56.097 as the final seconds saw a jostle for position. Priaulx improved to fourth to secure his place in Q2 as Muller, on the cusp of being knocked out, also improved to second in his Chevrolet Cruze. Michel Nykjær briefly moved into the top ten before being quickly demoted by Alain Menu on his final run.
Monteiro’s last lap moved him to the top of the timesheets on home soil ahead of the final shootout.
The top ten going through to Q2 were Monteiro, Tarquini, Muller, Huff, Farfus, Priaulx, Menu, Gené, Michelisz and Turkington.
The result confirmed reigning British Touring Car champion Colin Turkington as the best independent on his WTCC debut.
Q2 – In the final 10-minute session all the drivers left it late with only four minutes remaining as they recorded their first lap times.
Monteiro was flying, setting a fastest time of 1:55.372, which was not bettered in the final moments. Chevrolet’s Muller was just 0.053 seconds adrift in second place.
Rob Huff (1:55.934) was the only driver to make any real improvement on his time to jump up to fifth just behind reigning champion Tarquini (1:55.709) in fourth. As the final seconds ticked down the order was confirmed: Monteiro first, from Muller, Farfus, Tarquini, Huff, Michelisz, Gené, Priaulx, Menu and Turkington.