Huff grabs pole as title rivals collide

Chevrolet's Rob Huff came through a chaotic qualifying session for the World Touring Car finale in Macau to take pole position on an afternoon when the title hopes of SEAT duo Gabriele Tarquini and Yvan Muller were hit after they were involved a freak accident

Huff grabs pole as title rivals collide

Tarquini and Muller both comfortably made it through to the Q2 shoot-out session, but they failed to set a laptime after they got caught up in a crash early on.

Muller appeared to lose control of his SEAT on cement dust that had been laid down at Faraway following a crash involving Stefano D'Aste and James Thompson in Q1. Moments later, and unsighted by the dust, Tarquini smashed into him - before the pair were then hit again by Alain Menu. Muller was taken away from the scene in an ambulance, but gave the thumbs up to indicate he was okay.

All three cars were badly damaged in the crash, although the teams have an extra day for repairs with the first of the two WTCC races not taking place until Sunday.

With the SEAT duo out of action, the way was left open for the other title contender Augusto Farfus to take pole position - but he could not quite manage it.

Farfus moved to the top of the timesheet with one minute of qualifying remaining, but Huff went even quicker on his final lap to secure pole position - shortly before Andy Priaulx snatched the second spot.

Huff was overjoyed by the result - especially because the numerous red flags and delays had made it hard for drivers to find their rhythm.

"I've never in my life experienced a qualifying session like this," he said. "The track was dark at the end and you couldn't see anything. It was incredible. I've never done a pole on my third lap before, so it is just fantastic for Chevrolet. I'm really pleased."

Jordi Gene will start behind Farfus in fourth, with Tiago Monteiro fifth and Jorg Muller sixth. Yvan Muller, Tarquini, Menu and Rickard Rydell will fill out the rest of the top ten.

Pos Driver Car Q1 Q2 1. Rob Huff Chevrolet 2m31.282s 2m32.141s 2. Andy Priaulx BMW 2m31.734s 2m32.483s 3. Augusto Farfus BMW 2m31.505s 2m33.033s 4. Jordi Gene SEAT 2m31.171s 2m33.136s 5. Tiago Monteiro SEAT 2m31.357s 2m33.322s 6. Jorg Muller BMW 2m31.724s 2m34.091s 7. Yvan Muller SEAT 2m31.241s no time 8. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT 2m31.150s no time 9. Alain Menu Chevrolet 2m31.842s no time 10. Rickard Rydell SEAT 2m31.859s no time 11. Alex Zanardi BMW 2m32.059s 12. Nicola Larini Chevrolet 2m32.181s 13. Tom Coronel SEAT 2m32.330s 14. Felix Porteiro BMW 2m33.581s 15. Sergio Hernandez BMW 2m33.812s 16. Andre Couto SEAT 2m34.047s 17. Jaap van Lagen Lada 2m34.214s 18. Tom Boardman SEAT 2m34.242s 19. Franz Engstler BMW 2m34.615s 20. James Thompson Lada 2m36.141s 21. Nobuteru Taniguchi BMW 2m36.431s 22. Kristian Poulsen BMW 2m36.473s 23. Takayuki Aoki BMW 2m37.895s 24. Henry Ho BMW 2m41.318s 25. Jo Merszei BMW 2m42.626s 26. Kit Meng Lei BMW  2m44.667s 27. Liu Lic Ka BMW 2m47.747s 28. Stefano D'Aste BMW no time 
shares
comments
Larini to retire from WTCC
Previous article

Larini to retire from WTCC

Next article

Muller, Tarquini released from hospital

Muller, Tarquini released from hospital
Load comments
Why joker laps are entering the mainstream Plus

Why joker laps are entering the mainstream

This season the World Touring Car Championship looks certain to bring joker laps to a circuit-racing world championship for the first time. And it need not be the daft gimmick people may think

WTCC
Apr 6, 2017
The making of the world's best tin-top driver Plus

The making of the world's best tin-top driver

He has been overshadowed at Citroen for the last three seasons, but the retirement of Yvan Muller means the world says farewell to one of touring-car racing's finest talents

WTCC
Sep 26, 2016
Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC Plus

Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC

Volvo gave the World Touring Car Championship a major boost when it announced it would enter the series, but its ambitions don't stop there. JACK COZENS examines its programme, the S60 and what its arrival means for the WTCC

WTCC
Jan 18, 2016
The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off Plus

The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off

A 17-car field on a 13-mile track - the WTCC's Nurburgring Nordschleife gamble wasn't going to be easy to pull off. STUART CODLING explains how the series made it work

WTCC
May 20, 2015
Insight from a Nordschleife master Plus

Insight from a Nordschleife master

World championship racing returns to the Nordschleife this weekend. STUART CODLING got a lesson from one of the legendary track's few masters

WTCC
May 15, 2015
Becoming world champion for £100k Plus

Becoming world champion for £100k

The 2012 World Touring Car champion says he never had the money to race cars. Yet 2015 is his 11th season in the WTCC. He talks STUART CODLING through his journey from motorsport fan to paid professional - for little more than £100,000

WTCC
Mar 23, 2015
Can the vanquished champion bounce back? Plus

Can the vanquished champion bounce back?

The World Touring Car Championship kicks off in Argentina this weekend, and Yvan Muller bids to reclaim his throne from Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez. He talks to STUART CODLING

WTCC
Mar 6, 2015
The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014 Plus

The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014

Citroen had no rivals during the 2014 World Touring Car Championship, and 'rookie' Jose Maria Lopez hit the ground running to emerge as a worthy champion. PETER MILLS rates the field

WTCC
Dec 3, 2014