Macau: Muller's last-gasp pole

Former Macau Grand Prix winner Jorg Muller kept hold of his provisional pole position during Friday's final qualifying session for this weekend's SJM Macau Guia race, but he was forced to wait until the final seconds of track activity to steal the top slot back from BMW Team Germany team-mate Andy Priaulx

Macau: Muller's last-gasp pole

The battle for pole position was decided with a final dash to set the best times in the closing minutes of qualifying, after a red flag eight minutes from the end of the session caused by BMW's Duncan Huisman crashing heavily at Mandarin Corner and coming to rest in a dangerous position.

Muller had been on pole position up until that point, having maintained the speed advantage that earned him the provisional top spot on Thursday, and as the car resumed for the final minutes of running it was clear that all the front-runners were going to make a major attempt to wrest the top spot.

Muller, Priaulx and the SEAT of Rickard Rydell, who had been on pole position during the middle part of final qualifying, circulated close together out on the circuit as each driver succeeded in bettering their times.

Priaulx appeared to have won the battle, when he grabbed the top spot from Muller, before Rydell also pipped the German to secure a front row slot. But before either driver had had a chance to work out where they would start the race, Muller had hauled himself back to the front of the field with a supreme effort that left him 0.764 seconds ahead of Priaulx.

"With new tyres it was a bit of a lottery with traffic, but I have had a great start to the weekend," said Muller. "It is going to be a close fight on Sunday."

SEAT's Jordi Gene set the fourth fastest time, having repaired his car following a hefty crash in first qualifying, while Dirk Muller was fifth quickest despite a spin coming out of the Melco hairpin that briefly blocked the track.


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Macau: Muller still quickest

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