Colciago Grabs Pole in Mexico

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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