Hungaroring WTCC: Yvan Muller storms to pole for Chevrolet
|By Sam Tremayne||Saturday, May 4th 2013, 13:12 GMT|
Yvan 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.
The 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