Muller takes debut pole for Chevrolet
|By Steven English
||Saturday, March 6th 2010, 19:46 GMT
Yvan Muller will start his first race for Chevrolet from pole position after snatching the top spot in the final seconds of qualifying at Curitiba on Saturday.
The former world champion was leading after the first round of quick laps in Q2, but the result came down to the last run of the session with nine of the 10 cars on track at once. Muller had to improve with his effort to fight off Jordi Gene who briefly went quickest.
"I am pleased, it's always good to start the season with a pole position and it's always good to start new relationship with a new team with pole, so of course I am really pleased," Muller said.
"I am also pleased for the team because we can see the work we did through winter with first, third and fourth on grid - it means we have worked well. I am still a little bit driving in style of the diesel, so I can progress a little bit more on that still."
Chevrolet team-mates Alain Menu and Rob Huff were second and third heading onto that final lap and neither improved, but they retained third and fourth places.
Reigning world champion Gabriele Tarquini improved with his final effort to jump the BMWs of Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus for fifth. Michel Nykjaer will start eighth, with Tom Coronel ninth ahead of Norbert Michelisz who lost his opportunity to improve when he flew off the road in his SEAT on the last lap.
Tiago Monteiro was the high-profile casualty of Q1, shoved out of the top 10 by team-mate Coronel with five seconds remaining on the clock.
Stefano D'Aste was fastest of the independents in 13th place, ahead of Darryl O'Young's Chevrolet Lacetti.
Chevrolet had swept the board at the end of Q1 with Huff knocking two tenths off his time to hold onto the top spot, while team-mate Menu and Muller broke into the 1m23s to take second and third.
Pos Driver Car Q1 Q2 Gap
1. Yvan Muller Chevrolet 1m23.923s 1m23.725s
2. Jordi Gene SEAT 1m24.157s 1m23.757s +0.032
3. Alain Menu Chevrolet 1m23.730s 1m23.829s +0.104
4. Rob Huff Chevrolet 1m23.630s 1m23.833s +0.108
5. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT 1m24.125s 1m23.834s +0.109
6. Andy Priaulx BMW 1m24.034s 1m23.955s +0.230
7. Augusto Farfus BMW 1m24.006s 1m23.981s +0.256
8. Michel Nykjaer SEAT 1m24.516s 1m24.161s +0.436
9. Tom Coronel SEAT 1m24.558s 1m24.325s +0.600
10. Norbert Michelisz SEAT 1m24.019s 1m24.926s +1.201
11. Tiago Monteiro SEAT 1m24.562s
12. Fredy Barth SEAT 1m24.983s
13. Stefano D'Aste BMW 1m25.153s
14. Darryl O'Young Chevrolet 1m25.328s
15. Mehdi Bennani BMW 1m25.486s
16. Franz Engstler BMW 1m25.547s
17. Sergio Hernandez BMW 1m25.826s
18. Harry Vaulkhard Chevrolet 1m25.841s
19. Andrei Romanov BMW 1m27.567s