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WTCC NEWS 

Porto WTCC: Yvan Muller takes commanding pole

Yvan MullerYvan Muller captured his 18th career World Touring Car pole in commanding fashion on the streets of Porto.

The Frenchman moved clear of the field following the first set of flyers, with a new weekend best of 2m05.347s more than half a second clear of the field.

RML Chevrolet team-mate Tom Chilton was the only man to edge closer to Muller in the final minutes, ending the session just under two tenths down.

Second nevertheless equals Chilton's best qualifying performance, matching his front row start in the 2013 opener at Monza.

Michel Nykjaer, victorious last time out in Russia, made it a Chevrolet 1-2-3 in third.

Lada's James Thompson elected for just one run in Q2 but still did enough to split the Hondas of Norbert Michelisz and Gabriele Tarquini in fifth overall.

Rob Huff meanwhile edged out Munnich team-mate Marc Basseng in the fight for seventh, while James Nash - who secured a last-gasp berth in Q2 - was ninth ahead of Tom Coronel.

The Dutchman will therefore start from pole in Sunday's reverse-grid second race.

Pepe Oriola was an early casualty in Q2, shunting his Cruze into the Turn 3 wall and bringing out a brief red flag period.

Unable to return, he will line up from 12th for tomorrow's two races.

Local favourite Tiago Monteiro also suffered in qualifying as Honda battled to fix the broken turbo that caused him to stop on track during second practice.

He did eventually get out in Q1, but was unable to qualify higher than 17th.

Alex MacDowall was another casualty of the first qualifying session, picking up damage on his Bamboo Chevrolet in Q1 which left him languishing in 22nd.

That was at least better than the second Lada of Mikhail Kozlovskiy, which was unable to compete at all due to damage in FP2. The Russian brings up the tail of the grid in 25th.

Pos Driver              Team/Car              Time       Gap
 1. Yvan Muller         RML Chevrolet         2m05.347s          
 2. Tom Chilton         RML Chevrolet         2m05.545s  +0.198s
 3. Michel Nykjaer      Nika Chevrolet        2m05.977s  +0.630s
 4. Norbert Michelisz   Zengo Honda           2m06.033s  +0.686s
 5. James Thompson      Lada                  2m06.552s  +1.205s
 6. Gabriele Tarquini   Honda                 2m06.601s  +1.254s
 7. Rob Huff            Munnich SEAT          2m06.660s  +1.313s
 8. Marc Basseng        Munnich SEAT          2m06.663s  +1.316s
 9. James Nash          Bamboo Chevrolet      2m06.902s  +1.555s
10. Tom Coronel         ROAL BMW              2m06.903s  +1.556s
11. Franz Engstler      Engstler BMW          2m07.065s  +1.718s
12. Pepe Oriola         Tuenti Chevrolet      2m07.580s  +2.233s
13. Mehdi Bennani       Proteam BMW           2m07.560s  Q1
14. Stefano D'Aste      PB BMW                2m08.045s  Q1
15. Darryl O'Young      ROAL BMW              2m08.146s  Q1
16. Fredy Barth         Wiechers BMW          2m08.160s  Q1
17. Tiago Monteiro      Honda                 2m08.209s  Q1
18. Tom Boardman        Special Tuning SEAT   2m08.678s  Q1
19. Charles Ng          Engstler BMW          2m08.716s  Q1
20. Fernando Monje      Campos SEAT           2m08.778s  Q1
21. Hugo Valente        Campos SEAT           2m09.122s  Q1
22. Alex MacDowall      Bamboo Chevrolet      2m09.361s  Q1
23. Nikolay Karamishev  Campos SEAT           2m09.551s  Q1
24. Rene Munnich        Munnich SEAT          2m10.350s  Q1

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