Muller Takes Crucial Pole

Yvan Muller proved that Vauxhall are back in the hunt for the British Touring Car Championship title after he took a crucial pole position at a wet Mondello Park on Saturday

With conditions being made difficult by rain showers prior to the start of the session, Muller came through the interruptions of three red flags to take the top spot on the grid with his main title rivals struggling.

Muller's teammate Colin Turkington had looked set to make the most of home advantage as he claimed the top spot early on, but with about 10 minutes of qualifying remaining Muller put in a time that no-one could get anywhere near to secure pole.

Turkington then found himself demoted to third place by SEAT's Luke Hines, but on the final lap of the session he hauled himself back onto the front row - albeit 0.432 seconds behind Muller.

Hines kept hold of his third position as his SEAT teammate Jason Plato took fourth in the closing stages of the session.

Qualifying proved frustrating for the Championship leading Team Halfords Honda duo of Matt Neal and Dan Eaves. With the pair carrying maximum success ballast, and their cars not able to exploit their full potential on the tight Mondello circuit, Neal could manage no better than fifth with Eaves down in a lowly 10 th.

The three red flags were caused by Richard Williams (who failed to complete a lap thanks to transmission problems), James Kaye and Fiona Leggate.

Pos  Driver            Make                  Time              Laps
 1.  Yvan Muller       Vauxhall Astra        1:56.537           12
 2.  Colin Turkington  Vauxhall Astra        1:56.969 + 0.432   13
 3.  Luke Hines        SEAT Toledo Cupra     1:57.162 + 0.625   11
 4.  Jason Plato       SEAT Toledo Cupra     1:57.410 + 0.873   10
 5.  Matt Neal         Honda Integra         1:57.441 + 0.904   15
 6.  James Pickford    SEAT Toledo Cupra     1:57.761 + 1.224   13
 7.  Tom Chilton       Honda Civic Type-R    1:58.049 + 1.512   15
 8.  Gavin Smith       Vauxhall Astra        1:58.126 + 1.589   13
 9.  Rob Collard       MG ZS                 1:58.228 + 1.691   13
10.  Dan Eaves         Honda Integra         1:58.793 + 2.256   12
11.  Jason Hughes      MG ZS                 1:59.350 + 2.813   13
12.  James Kaye        Honda Civic Type-R    2:00.853 + 4.316    3
13.  Ian Curley        Lexus IS200           2:01.818 + 5.281    4
14.  Fiona Leggate     Vauxhall Astra Coupe  2:02.930 + 6.393    5
15.  Mark Proctor      Vauxhall Astra Coupe  2:03.207 + 6.670    9
16.  Richard Williams  Lexus IS200           No Time
Previous article Turkington Upbeat for Mondello
Next article Muller Looking to Take Chances