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WTCC NEWS 

Shanghai WTCC: Yvan Muller leads all-RML Chevrolet front row

Yvan Muller, RML Chevrolet, Shanghai WTCC 2013

Newly-crowned champion Yvan Muller claimed his sixth pole position of the 2013 World Touring Car Championship with a dominant performance in qualifying at Shanghai.

Chevrolet meanwhile locked out the top six positions, with Zengo Honda driver Norbert Michelisz - the best of the rest in seventh - more than one second down on Muller.

There was time for just one run in Q2, which meant no one was able to respond once Muller surged ahead with a 1m53.486s.

Team-mate Tom Chilton was second, three tenths down on Muller, with the RML pair the only men to break below the 1m54s mark.

Tuenti driver Pepe Oriola claimed a share of the second row alongside Bamboo's James Nash, whose team-mate Alex MacDowall will line up alongside series returnee Rickard Rydell on row three.

Michelisz meanwhile beat SEAT's Rob Huff to seventh, while his factory counterparts Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro locked out ninth and 10th respectively - and therefore secured an all-Honda front row for the reverse-grid second race.

Thed Bjork had secured Volvo's progress through from Q1, but as a one-off entrant he is unable to earn points and therefore had to miss the second part of qualifying.

He was therefore set to start from 12th, only to be issued a five-place penalty after his car was found to be underweight in post-qualifying checks.

Franz Engstler's 11th place - which represents the first time the 52-year-old has made the Q2 cut this season - is unaffected.

The German will now share the sixth row with Tom Coronel, the man he kept out in the fight for the final berth in the pole shootout.

Coronel had a chance to deny Engstler as the chequered flag fell in Q1, but fell four thousandths of a second short despite improving on his last-gasp effort.

The Dutchman will start just ahead of Lada's James Thompson. The Briton had been a permanent top five fixture in practice but struggled for pace on the new tyres and wound up missing the Q2 cut by just over one tenth of a second.

Pos  Driver              Team/Car                Time       Gap
 1.  Yvan Muller         RML Chevrolet           1m53.486s
 2.  Tom Chilton         RML Chevrolet           1m53.868s  +0.382s
 3.  Pepe Oriola         Tuenti Chevrolet        1m54.008s  +0.522s
 4.  James Nash          Bamboo Chevrolet        1m54.034s  +0.548s
 5.  Alex MacDowall      Bamboo Chevrolet        1m54.054s  +0.568s
 6.  Rickard Rydell      Nika Chevrolet          1m54.215s  +0.729s
 7.  Norbert Michelisz   Zengo Honda             1m54.576s  +1.090s
 8.  Rob Huff            Munnich SEAT            1m54.623s  +1.137s
 9.  Gabriele Tarquini   Honda                   1m54.666s  +1.180s
10.  Tiago Monteiro      Honda                   1m54.959s  +1.473s
11.  Franz Engstler      Engstler BMW            1m55.624s  +2.138s
12.  Thed Bjork          Polestar Volvo*
13.  Tom Coronel         ROAL BMW                1m55.204s  Q1
14.  James Thompson      Lada                    1m55.316s  Q1
15.  Marc Basseng        Munnich SEAT            1m55.434s  Q1
16.  Hugo Valente        Campos SEAT             1m55.535s  Q1
17.  Charles Ng          Engstler BMW            1m55.581s  Q1
18.  Darryl O'Young      ROAL BMW                1m55.591s  Q1
19.  Tom Boardman        Special Tuning SEAT     1m55.610s  Q1
20.  Fredy Barth         Wiechers BMW            1m55.719s  Q1
21.  Mikhail Kozlovskiy  Lada                    1m55.920s  Q1
22.  Rene Munnich        Munnich SEAT            1m56.171s  Q1
23.  Fernando Monje      Campos SEAT             1m56.282s  Q1
24.  Mehdi Bennani       Proteam BMW             1m56.359s  Q1
25.  Yukinori Taniguchi  Wiechers BMW            1m57.128s  Q1
26.  Stefano D'Aste      PB BMW                  1m58.448s  Q1
27.  Henry Ho            Engstler BMW            1m58.865s  Q1
28.  Filipe de Souza     China Dragon Chevrolet  1m59.230s  Q1
29.  Ng Kin Veng         China Dragon Chevrolet  2m00.337s  Q1
30.  Ka Lok Mak          RPM BMW                 2m01.838s  Q1
31.  Jeronimo Badaraco   Son Veng Chevrolet

* Docked five places due to car being underweight.
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