Salzburgring WTCC: Michel Nykjaer pole as 12 drivers penalised
|By Matt Beer and Sam Tremayne||Saturday, May 18th 2013, 19:42 GMT|
Michel Nykjaer has ended up with pole position for the opening World Touring Car Championship race at the Salzburgring as 10 of the top 12 drivers on the grid were penalised amid the fallout from the farcical end to qualifying.
The Austrian event was thrown into chaos as the entire 12-strong Q2 field missed out on final flying laps while driving slowly to try and get slipstreams from each other.
Tom Chilton, heading the pack in his RML Chevrolet, had not needed to chase times as he and team-mate Yvan Muller occupied the provisional front row.
WTCC officials were unimpressed with both the end-of-Q2 scenes and traffic jams in Q1 as drivers tried to back each other up to get clear runs.
Stewards handed out fines and penalties to a total of 12 drivers in the qualifying aftermath.
They also subsequently ruled that all three Honda Civics did not conform to post-session technical checks, meaning that Gabriele Tarquini, Tiago Monteiro and Norbert Michelisz will all start from the back of the grid for race one.
Their penalties supersede the punishments handed out as a result of the qualifying fall-out.
All qualifying punishments, awarded as per the table below, apply to race one only.
Driver Grid* Penalty Fine(€) Yvan Muller 1 -12 3000 Tom Chilton 2 -12 3000 Rob Huff 3 -10 1000 Alex McDowall 4 -8 3000 Michel Nykjaer 5
Gabriele Tarquini 6 -24 6000** Tiago Monteiro 7 -12 3000 Pepe Oriola 8 -16 6000** Norbert Michelisz 9 -12 3000 James Nash 10 NFA Stefano D'Aste 11 -5 1000 Tom Coronel 12 -15 4000** Mehdi Bennani 13
Mikhail Kozlovskiy 14 NFA Fredy Barth 15 Franz Engstler 16 Marc Basseng 17 Hugo Valente 18 -5 3000 Darryl O'Young 19 -5 1000 James Thompson 20 Charles Ng 21 Rene Munnich 22 Fernando Monje 23 *As determined by qualifying, before application of penalties **Penalties and fines handed out based on transgressions in Q1 and Q2
The final starting positions be revealed on Sunday morning, as officials have yet to confirm the order in which penalties will be applied.
One certainty is that Nykjaer ends up on race one pole as the four drivers who outqualified him all have substantial penalties and he was not penalised.
James Nash's race two pole is unaffected.
Revised race one grid: Pos Driver Team/Car 1. Michel Nykjaer Nika Chevrolet 2. James Nash Bamboo Chevrolet 3. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW 4. Mikhail Kozlovskiy Lada 5. Fredy Barth Wiechers BMW 6. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 7. Marc Basseng Munnich SEAT 8. James Thompson Lada 9. Charles Ng Engstler BMW 10. Rene Munnich Munnich SEAT 11. Fernando Monje Campos SEAT 12. Alex MacDowall Bamboo Chevrolet 13. Yvan Muller RML Chevrolet 14. Rob Huff Munnich SEAT 15. Tom Chilton RML Chevrolet 16. Stefano D'Aste PB BMW 17. Pepe Oriola Tuenti SEAT 18. Darryl O'Young ROAL BMW 19. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW 20. Hugo Valente Campos SEAT 21. Gabriele Tarquini Honda 22. Tiago Monteiro Honda 23. Norbert Michelisz Zengo Honda