Giovanardi on Pole at Imola

Alfa Romeo's Fabrizio Giovanardi will start from pole position in the first of tomorrow's two FIA World Touring Car Championship races at Imola

Giovanardi on Pole at Imola

The Italian three-times European Champion returned to form on home soil to secure his first pole position of the season with a lap over half a second better than anyone else could manage.

Spaniards Antonio Garcia (BMW) and Jordi Gene (SEAT) made it three different manufacturers in the top three on the grid before the next two Alfas, driven by Augusto Farfus and Gabriele Tarquini, rounded out the top five.

BMW's Andy Priaulx was the top Briton with sixth best time, while Alfa's James Thompson could only manage 10th best and SEAT's Jason Plato 13th.

Tarquini and Priaulx set their times despite carrying the biggest success ballast weights, with the Italian's Alfa carrying a 55kg burden and the Guernseyman's BMW 40kg. Giovanardi and Gene, by contrast, are only running 5kg above base weight and Garcia 15kg.

Points leader Dirk Muller (+35kg) was ninth fastest in his BMW with teammate Jorg Muller (+30kg), who is third in the Championship table behind Tarquini, only 14th best.

FIA WTCC at Imola - Qualifying Result:

Pos Driver Make Time Laps 1. Fabrizio Giovanardi Alfa Romeo 156 1:58.573 8 2. Antonio Garcia BMW 320i 1:59.159 + 0.586 11 3. Jordi Gene SEAT Toledo Cupra 1:59.317 + 0.744 9 4. Augusto Farfus Jr. Alfa Romeo 156 1:59.377 + 0.804 7 5. Gabriele Tarquini Alfa Romeo 156 1:59.594 + 1.021 9 6. Andy Priaulx BMW 320i 1:59.630 + 1.057 10 7. Roberto Colciago Honda Accord Euro R 1:59.659 + 1.086 11 8. Peter Terting SEAT Toledo Cupra 1:59.670 + 1.097 6 9. Dirk Muller BMW 320i 1:59.685 + 1.112 10 10. James Thompson Alfa Romeo 156 1:59.685 + 1.112 10 11. Rickard Rydell SEAT Toledo Cupra 1:59.716 + 1.143 9 12. Adriano De Micheli Honda Accord Euro R 1:59.721 + 1.148 11 13. Jason Plato SEAT Toledo Cupra 2:00.186 + 1.613 8 14. Jorg Muller BMW 320i 2:00.283 + 1.710 10 15. Alessandro Zanardi BMW 320i 2:00.319 + 1.746 12 16. Alessandro Balzan SEAT Toledo Cupra 2:00.341 + 1.768 10 17. Carl Rosenblad BMW 320i 2:00.479 + 1.906 9 18. Alain Menu Chevrolet Lacetti 2:00.550 + 1.977 12 19. Stefano D'aste BMW 320i 2:00.689 + 2.116 10 20. Nicola Larini Chevrolet Lacetti 2:00.871 + 2.298 10 21. Tom Coronel Seat Toledo Cupra 2:01.036 + 2.463 12 22. Robert Huff Chevrolet Lacetti 2:01.072 + 2.499 11 23. Giuseppe Ciro BMW 320i 2:01.108 + 2.535 11 24. Salvatore Tavano Alfa Romeo 156 2:01.189 + 2.616 12 25. Thomas Klenke Ford Focus 2:01.259 + 2.686 11 26. Marc Hennerici BMW 320i 2:01.526 + 2.953 9 27. Thomas Jager Ford Focus 2:02.042 + 3.469 11 28. Andrea Larini Alfa Romeo 156 2:02.110 + 3.537 10 29. Gianluca De Lorenzi BMW 320i 2:02.336 + 3.763 6 30. Stefano Valli BMW 320i 2:02.639 + 4.066 12 31. Carlos Mastretta Seat Toledo Cupra 2:02.806 + 4.233 13 32. Sascha Ploderl Ford Focus ST170 2:05.418 + 6.845 5 
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