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Hungaroring WTCC: Yvan Muller storms to pole for Chevrolet

Yvan Muller, RML Chevrolet, Hungaroring WTCC 2013Yvan Muller blazed to his 16th career World Touring Car pole with a record lap of the Hungaroring.

The Frenchman banged in a 1m53.426s early in the final session and then simply watched as all his rivals fell well short of surpassing it.

His time proved more than three tenths of a second faster than anyone else could manage, and more than 1s quicker than his record pole time from last year's visit.

Muller's margin over the rest of the field would have been even larger were it not for a last-gasp effort from home favourite Norbert Michelisz, who captured second in his Zengo Honda Civic as the chequered flag fell.

That denied his works stablemate Gabriele Tarquini a front row start, with the Italian forced to settle for a share of the second row with team-mate Tiago Monteiro.

Slovakia race-winner Tom Coronel put his ROAL BMW fifth ahead of the second RML Chevrolet of Tom Chilton, who ended more than seven tenths down on Muller.

Bamboo Chevrolet's James Nash prevailed in the fight for seventh, edging the Munnich SEAT of defending champion Rob Huff, Proteam BMW's Mehdi Bennani and team-mate Alex MacDowall, who will start the reverse-grid second race from pole.

Bennani had earlier survived an extremely tense final few minutes to book the final spot in Q2.

Mehdi Bennani, Proteam BMW, Hungaroring WTCC 2013The Moroccan could only watch from the pitlane as several drivers did their best to win through to the second session.

Marrakech race-winner Pepe Oriola came closest, falling just 0.073s shy of Bennani's best, while James Thompson beat the chequered flag by seconds to begin his own flyer, only for a promising first sector to unravel across the final two splits.

Oriola will start both races from 13th. Thompson lines up 16th, behind the BMWs of Franz Engstler and Stefano D'Aste.

Pos  Driver              Team/Car             Time       Gap
 1.  Yvan Muller         RML Chevrolet        1m53.426s
 2.  Norbert Michelisz   Zengo Honda          1m53.806s  + 0.380s
 3.  Gabriele Tarquini   Honda                1m53.953s  + 0.527s
 4.  Tiago Monteiro      Honda                1m54.048s  + 0.622s
 5.  Tom Coronel         ROAL BMW             1m54.077s  + 0.651s
 6.  Tom Chilton         RML Chevrolet        1m54.181s  + 0.755s
 7.  James Nash          Bamboo Chevrolet     1m54.270s  + 0.844s
 8.  Rob Huff            Munnich SEAT         1m54.380s  + 0.954s
 9.  Mehdi Bennani       Proteam BMW          1m54.455s  + 1.029s
10.  Alex MacDowall      Bamboo Chevrolet     1m54.533s  + 1.107s
11.  Michel Nykjaer      Nika Chevrolet       1m54.972s  + 1.546s
12.  Fredy Barth         Wiechers BMW         1m55.054s  + 1.628s
13.  Pepe Oriola         Tuenti SEAT          1m54.851s  Q1
14.  Franz Engstler      Engstler BMW         1m54.958s  Q1
15.  Stefano D'Aste      PB BMW               1m55.103s  Q1
16.  James Thompson      Lada                 1m55.168s  Q1
17.  Darryl O'Young      ROAL BMW             1m55.229s  Q1
18.  Charles Ng          Engstler BMW         1m55.283s  Q1
19.  Fernando Monje      Campos SEAT          1m55.299s  Q1
20.  Tom Boardman        Special Tuning SEAT  1m55.421s  Q1
21.  Marc Basseng        Munnich SEAT         1m55.452s  Q1
22.  Mikhail Kozlovskiy  Lada                 1m55.608s  Q1
23.  Hugo Valente        Campos SEAT          1m55.882s  Q1
24.  Rene Munnich        Munnich SEAT         1m56.656s  Q1
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