Porto WTCC: Yvan Muller takes commanding pole
|By Sam Tremayne||Saturday, June 29th 2013, 15:11 GMT|
Yvan 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