Photo: Nate Jacobson
With a last gasp lap, Alain Menu claimed his fourth pole position of the season beating Gabriele Tarquini by two tenths of a second.
The Italian driver had set the benchmark with a very fast first lap and felt like he had wrapped pole position for good. However, the Chevrolet team managed to prepare their cars in time for a second attempt that eventually Menu exploited stealing the pole at the very last moment.
Tarquini and the Lukoil Racing Team tried to react, but when the SEAT was ready to leave the pit lane, it was too late for a last flying lap.
Although they also managed to improve, Yvan Muller and Rob Huff were not able to beat Tarquinis time and qualified in second and third, ahead of the two best Yokohama Trophy competitors: Norbert Michelisz and Alex MacDowall.
A few drivers were disappointed by the results, as they did not manage to advance to Q2. Tom Coronel spoiled his Q1 by spinning on new tyres, Pepe Oriola could not make any better that 18th, and Team Aon team-mates James Nash and Tom Chilton were not able to repeat the good results they have had in Practice.
Stefano DAste and Mehdi Bennani qualified tenth and ninth, meaning a full BMW front row on the reversed grid for Race 2.