Huff claims Cruze's maiden pole

Rob Huff clinched his second World Touring Car pole position and the first for the new Chevrolet Cruze in qualifying at Marrakech this afternoon

Huff claims Cruze's maiden pole

The Briton pipped team-mate Alain Menu to head an all-Chevrolet front row after RML's three Cruze's had finished 1-2-3 in the first part of qualifying.

Menu jumped to the top of the timesheet with his first run in Q2, but was demoted to second as all three Chevrolet drivers formed a slipstreaming train along the Marrakech street circuit's long straights.

But Menu later had his times from Q2 disallowed because his car failed to restart under its own power following a mandatory visit to the weighbridge. He will start the first race from 10th.

The so far dominant diesel SEATs were not able to overhaul the Chevrolets, which are running 60kg lighter than their rivals with compensation weight coming into force for the first time this weekend.

Gabriele Tarquini, Yvan Muller and Jordi Gene each improved on their final run, though, to push Nicola Larini down to fifth place. Tiago Monteiro will start Sunday's first race in sixth place, ahead of lead independent Franz Engstler who qualified as the highest-placed BMW.

Two of the factory BMWs made it through to Q2, but neither got to turn a quick lap in the session. Jorg Muller had to park his BMW on the outlap with a mechanical failure, while Andy Priaulx was forced to sit out the session entirely.

Priaulx ran wide at Turn 1 at the beginning of his final lap of Q1 and collided with fellow works BMW driver Sergio Hernandez, who was recovering from the outside of the run-off having made a similar mistake seconds earlier.

Both cars nosed into the barrier and Priaulx was prohibited from progressing to Q2, despite having set the eighth quickest time in Q1, because he had required assistance to make it back to the pits.

Rickard Rydell and Augusto Farfus were the high-profile casualties of Q1 and will start tomorrow's first race in 12th and 13th places.

Pos Driver Car Q1 Q2 1. Rob Huff Chevrolet 1m50.817s 1m49.789s 2. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT 1m51.033s 1m50.086s 3. Yvan Muller SEAT 1m50.924s 1m50.156s 4. Jordi Gene SEAT  1m51.294s 1m50.266s 5. Nicola Larini Chevrolet 1m50.723s 1m50.372s 6. Tiago Monteiro SEAT 1m51.086s 1m50.770s 7. Franz Engstler BMW 1m51.750s 1m51.643s 8. Jorg Muller BMW 1m51.593s no time 9. Andy Priaulx BMW 1m51.508s no time 10. Alain Menu Chevrolet 1m50.271s 1m49.956s (excluded) 11. Alex Zanardi BMW 1m51.753s 12. Rickard Rydell SEAT 1m51.806s 13. Augusto Farfus BMW 1m51.945s 14. Mehdi Bennani SEAT 1m52.008s 15. Felix Porteiro BMW 1m52.148s 16. Tom Coronel SEAT 1m52.271s 17. Kristian Poulsen BMW 1m52.401s 18. Marin Colak SEAT 1m52.504s 19. Sergio Hernandez BMW 1m52.622s 20. Stefano D'Aste BMW 1m52.733s 21. Jaap van Lagen Lada 1m53.001s 22. Kirill Ladygin Lada 1m53.510s 23. George Tanev BMW 1m53.636s 24. Vito Postiglione BMW 1m53.711s 25. Viktor Shapovalov Lada 1m54.046s 
SEAT dominates Marrakech practice

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Huff clinches Cruze's first victory

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