Yvan Muller beats Hugo Valente to Hungaroring pole position

Yvan Muller took his first World Touring Car Championship pole position of 2015 at the Hungaroring as Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez fell over half a second short.

Yvan Muller beats Hugo Valente to Hungaroring pole position

Yvan Muller took his first World Touring Car Championship pole position of 2015 at the Hungaroring as Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez fell over half a second short.

Although the C-Elysees are carrying 60kg of ballast, all four works cars made it through to Q3, and the sole non-Citroen to progress was the privateer Chevrolet of Hugo Valente.

Ma Qing Hua arrived in the pitlane too late after the end of Q2 to take up his Q3 timeslot and was therefore unable to set a laptime.

Valente's lap withstood the challenge of Sebastien Loeb, but Muller made no mistakes on his run to set a time of 1m48.84s that Lopez proved unable to beat.

Lopez ended the session third fastest but will start second on the grid because Valente was penalised five places for failing to respect yellow flags during FP1.

"Everything was together for me today, and I'm pleased to open the score on pole positions for 2015," said Muller.

"I was surprised by my lap time in the end. My target was to do a 1m49.0s and I was focused on that, trying not to make any mistakes, and in the end I did even better than that.

"I was struggling a bit in [wet] free practice, but practice is nothing - it's qualifying that's important."

Valente was frustrated at the grid penalty following his strong qualifying performance.

"We turned it [the Chevrolet] into a good car for the dry and I'm just a little bit disappointed because of the five-place penalty," said Valente.

"To be up here, P2, with these guys is incredible."

NEWS UPDATE: Valente grid penalty overturned

Lopez said: "I was very quick in the wet this morning, very pleased with my pace. I knew Yvan would be quick here in the dry - congratulations to him."

Honda's Gabriele Tarquini brought out the red flags in Q1 when the wet kerb at Turn 3 assisted him into the barriers nose-first.

He and Lada drivers Mikhail Kozlovskiy and James Thompson, together with Gregoire Demoustier and Valente's team-mate John Filippi, duly failed to make the cut for Q2.

The second qualifying session was a similarly fraught affair as the drying track rubbered in and times fell.

Honda driver Tiago Monteiro and Lada's Rob Huff both saw fast times eclipsed in the final moments, denying them a place in Q3.

Local favourite Norbert Michelisz placed 10th in Q2 in his Zengo-run Honda, securing the reverse-grid pole position.

"If you said before the weekend I wouldn't progress to Q3 I'd probably have been disappointed," he said.

"But we felt that we didn't have the pace to challenge for the top three so we changed our strategy."

QUALIFYING RESULTS:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m48.848s -
2 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 1m49.081s 0.233s
3 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m49.567s 0.719s
4 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m49.572s 0.724s
5 Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen - -
6 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1m49.819s -
7 Rob Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1m49.834s -
8 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 1m50.021s -
9 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 1m50.284s -
10 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 1m50.301s -
11 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 1m50.384s -
12 Stefano D'Aste All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 1m51.745s -
13 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 1m51.715s -
14 Gregoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet 1m52.355s -
15 Mikhail Kozlovskiy LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1m54.179s -
16 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda - -
1001 James Thompson LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1m52.153s -


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Hungary WTCC: Jose Maria Lopez leads in wet, Sebastien Loeb crashes
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