Independent runner Roberto Colciago secured pole position for the first of tomorrow's World Touring Car Championship races at Puebla
The Honda Accord driver, without major backing from the Japanese firm, beat the might of the works team around the new Mexican circuit.
The Italian said: "The car is really good and I'm confident on the new track. Nobody has tested so we have the same advantage as everybody else. It was really good for the team. Everything went in the right way."
SEAT's Peter Terting will start alongside Colciago on the front row. The German was revelling in the advantage the front-wheel drive cars appear to have. "This circuit is not bad for SEAT because there aren't any long straights, its just one corner after another," Terting said.
Fabrizio Giovanardi was the top Alfa Romeo driver after qualifying third alongside teammate Augusto Farfus Jr.
The session was a nightmare for the rear-wheel drive BMW's with Championship contenders Andy Priaulx and Drik Muller qualifying 15th and 16th respectively. The flowing nature of the circuit suited the front wheel drive cars, and the pair will be up against it to score points tomorrow.
The new circuit took its toll on many runners, after a spate of accidents during qualifying that brought out the red flag three times. The WTCC uses Puebla oval's road course layout and the run off areas on some corners are limited.
SEAT's Jordi Gene brought out the first after an accident with Alfa Romeo's Gabriele Tarquini. Gene tried to drive round the outside of the Italian, but appeared to slide into him, launching himself into the air and across into the mud on the outside of the circuit. Gene's sustained damage to the front of his Toledo Cupra, including his front suspension, splitter. He also sustained a puncture.
James Thompson brought out the second red flag after he brushed the wall by the outside of the circuit's oval corner. Remnants of his brake discs were picked up by marshals, suggesting brake failure was the cause of his accident.
The third red flag was brought out for Nicola Larini after he spun his Chevrelot backwards into a wall on the inside of the circuit.
BMW's Jorg Muller did not manage to get out in the session after sustaining damage to his car in practice. The German, sixth in the Championship, went off in avoidance and hit the inside wall when Giuseppe Ciro spun infront of him.
Colciago's teammate Adriano De Micheli similarly did make the session after sustaining too much damage to his Honda Accord in a separate practice accident.
Pos Driver Make Time Laps 1. Roberto Colciago Honda Accord Euro R 1:29.830 8 2. Peter Terting SEAT Toledo Cupra 1:29.859 + 0.029 9 3. Fabrizio Giovanardi Alfa Romeo 156 1:29.993 + 0.163 10 4. Augusto Farfus Jr. Alfa Romeo 156 1:30.104 + 0.274 9 5. James Thompson Alfa Romeo 156 1:30.327 + 0.497 7 6. Gabriele Tarquini Alfa Romeo 156 1:30.367 + 0.537 8 7. Jordi Gene SEAT Toledo Cupra 1:30.430 + 0.600 9 8. Rickard Rydell SEAT Toledo Cupra 1:30.572 + 0.742 8 9. Robert Huff Chevrolet Lacetti 1:30.729 + 0.899 10 10. Jason Plato SEAT Toledo Cupra 1:30.767 + 0.937 13 11. Antonio Garcia BMW 320i 1:30.831 + 1.001 8 12. Alain Menu Chevrolet Lacetti 1:30.878 + 1.048 11 13. Tom Coronel Seat Toledo Cupra 1:31.083 + 1.253 16 14. Nicola Larini Chevrolet Lacetti 1:31.176 + 1.346 9 15. Andy Priaulx BMW 320i 1:31.237 + 1.407 13 16. Dirk Muller BMW 320i 1:31.276 + 1.446 12 17. Stefano D'aste BMW 320i 1:31.345 + 1.515 14 18. Giuseppe Ciro BMW 320i 1:31.483 + 1.653 15 19. Carlos Mastretta Seat Toledo Cupra 1:31.604 + 1.774 12 20. Alessandro Zanardi BMW 320i 1:31.708 + 1.878 13 21. Marc Hennerici BMW 320i 1:32.213 + 2.383 15 22. Carl Rosenblad BMW 320i 1:32.312 + 2.482 15
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