WTCC Nordschleife: Michelisz steals pole with final flying lap

Honda's Norbert Michelisz usurped pole from Nicky Catsburg on his very last lap in World Touring Car Championship qualifying at the Nurburgring Nordschleife

WTCC Nordschleife: Michelisz steals pole with final flying lap

Catsburg had steered his Volvo to the top of the times with an impressive 8m38.680s, almost four seconds shy of the new lap record he set in practice, after a succession of fastest sectors on his second of three fast laps.

But after making a slight rear wing adjustment for his last run, the Polestar driver was unable to find extra time after suffering a vibration.

That then opened the door for Michelisz, for whom personal bests in every sector on his last lap allowed him to leapfrog his rival with a time of 8m38.072s.

Rob Huff had previously led the times on the first of three flying laps before falling down the order.

An issue with his clutch caused him to slow on the grand prix circuit, but he recovered to set his best lap on his final run to go third.

Huff's late improvement meant the second works Honda of Tiago Monteiro finished fourth ahead of Thed Bjork's Polestar Volvo, who had suffered from an engine glitch in the second practice session.

Sebastien Loeb Racing's Tom Chilton finished the session in sixth ahead of the ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet of Tom Coronel.

Mehdi Bennani took his SLR Citroen to eighth after narrowly avoiding a collision with the barriers at Tiergarten on his first fast lap.

Ninth went the way of Campos Racing's Esteban Guerrieri with the reverse grid pole going to Nestor Girolami in 10th.

The Volvo driver ran wide early in the session, damaging his splitter and filling his radiator with grass, but recovered to grab the opening race's pole.

The final works Honda of Ryo Michigami missed out on the reverse grid pole by finishing 11th ahead of RC Motorsport's Yann Ehrlahcer and John Filippi in the final SLR Citroen.

VOLVO TAKES MAC3 WIN

Volvo took the MAC3 victory after a suspected damper problem on Monteiro's Honda meant the team opted to complete the session "as slowly as possible within the regulations", according to team boss Alessandro Mariani.

Volvo's run was not without its own problems as Catsburg dropped off fearing an imminent tyre puncture, but the Polestar outfit's time of 9m01.99s proved to be almost 20s faster than Honda's.

RACE ONE GRID

Pos Driver Team Car
1 Nestor Girolami Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo
2 Esteban Guerrieri Campos Racing Chevrolet
3 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen
4 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet
5 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen
6 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo
7 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda
8 Rob Huff Munnich Motorsport Citroen
9 Nicky Catsburg Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo
10 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda
11 Ryo Michigami Honda Racing Team JAS Honda
12 Yann Ehrlacher RC Motorsport Lada
13 John Filippi Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen
14 Kevin Gleason RC Motorsport Lada
15 Aurelien Panis Zengo Motorsport Honda
16 Daniel Nagy Zengo Motorsport Honda

RACE TWO GRID:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 8m38.072s -
2 Nicky Catsburg Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 8m38.680s 0.608s
3 Rob Huff Munnich Motorsport Citroen 8m39.541s 1.469s
4 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 8m40.202s 2.130s
5 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 8m40.996s 2.924s
6 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 8m42.356s 4.284s
7 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 8m43.393s 5.321s
8 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 8m43.533s 5.461s
9 Esteban Guerrieri Campos Racing Chevrolet 8m43.689s 5.617s
10 Nestor Girolami Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 8m44.630s 6.558s
11 Ryo Michigami Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 8m45.845s 7.773s
12 Yann Ehrlacher RC Motorsport Lada 8m45.925s 7.853s
13 John Filippi Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 8m46.002s 7.930s
14 Kevin Gleason RC Motorsport Lada 8m47.215s 9.143s
15 Aurelien Panis Zengo Motorsport Honda 8m51.021s 12.949s
16 Daniel Nagy Zengo Motorsport Honda 8m54.909s 16.837s


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WTCC Nurburgring Nordschleife: Volvo's Catsburg fastest in FP2

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