WTCR Zandvoort: Bjork on pole as Cyan takes 1-2-3, Muller second

Thed Bjork scored his first pole position of the World Touring Car Cup season as Cyan Racing's Lynk & Co 03 cars locked out the top three positions at Zandvoort

Bjork had hinted at the pace of the Lynk & Co by heading a one-two in Friday's second practice session, but Cyan waited for qualifying to unleash the car's full potential - with more than half a second separating the top four and the best of the rest.

While all four Cyan drivers spent at least brief spells at the top of the times, Bjork was always the last of the four to run and sealed pole with a 1m44.080s lap of the returning Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix circuit on his final run, beating Yvan Muller to pole by 0.073 seconds.

Three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx and Yann Ehrlacher used their runs to tow each other to fast laps, and it was Priaulx who ended up third by setting a 1m44.196s.

Ehrlacher had qualified fourth, but Cyan was denied a top-four lockout when the Frenchman received a five-place grid penalty for an unseen incident with the BRC Racing Hyundai of Augusto Farfus.

The front end of Farfus's i30 N was damaged after hitting the barrier at Gerlach, and the Brazilian did not return to the track after the incident - which consigned him to 18th.

None of the leading quartet opted for a fourth timed run in the final five minutes, such was the car's advantage over the rest of the pack.

Fifth went to WTCR rookie Mikel Azcona, who dragged his PWR Cupra to a time of 1m44.801s.

That put him three thousandths clear of the best of the Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Golf GTIs of Benjamin Leuchter, who improved late on to bump team-mate Johan Kristoffersson down to seventh.

The second PWR Cupra of Daniel Haglof was eighth, having caused a full-course yellow midway through the half-hour session after hitting a tyre stack, while Jean-Karl Vernay (WRT Audi RS3 LMS) and the third SLR VW of Mehdi Bennani completed the top 10.

Nicky Catsburg was the BRC Racing Hyundai outfit's lead representative in 11th, ahead of Frederic Vervisch (Comtoyou Audi) and Norbert Michelisz.

Munnich Motorsport's championship leader Nestor Girolami qualified 14th, but was handed a five-place grid drop for overtaking under red-flag conditions.

His place will instead be taken by Esteban Guerrieri, whose Honda Civic Type R moves up two places thanks to Girolami's demotion and an engine change penalty dropping Rob Huff's SLR VW to the back of the grid.

While the Lynk & Cos enjoyed a sizeable advantage, things were tight in the remainder of the pack.

Less than a second should have separated Azcona and Kevin Ceccon's Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce at the bottom of the pile, but Tiago Monteiro had his fastest time scrubbed off for causing a red flag at the end of the session and was relegated to the back.

His next best effort was 1.4s slower than Azcona's, and 2.137s off Bjork's benchmark.

Qualifying results

Pos Driver Team Car Gap Laps
1 Thed Bjork Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 1m44.080s 9
2 Yvan Muller Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 0.073s 9
3 Andy Priaulx Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 0.116s 9
4 Yann Ehrlacher Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 0.233s 9
5 Mikel Azcona PWR Racing Cupra 0.721s 11
6 Benjamin Leuchter SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen 0.724s 11
7 Johan Kristoffersson SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen 0.730s 10
8 Daniel Haglof PWR Racing Cupra 0.776s 10
9 Jean-Karl Vernay WRT Audi 0.787s 12
10 Mehdi Bennani SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen 0.794s 11
11 Nicky Catsburg BRC Racing Team Hyundai 0.822s 11
12 Frederic Vervisch Comtoyou Audi Audi 0.880s 10
13 Norbert Michelisz BRC Squadra Corse Hyundai 0.892s 11
14 Nestor Girolami Munnich Motorsport Honda 0.925s 11
15 Rob Huff SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen 1.097s 10
16 Esteban Guerrieri Munnich Motorsport Honda 1.135s 11
17 Aurelien Panis Comtoyou Cupra Cupra 1.137s 11
18 Augusto Farfus BRC Racing Team Hyundai 1.142s 7
19 Niels Langeveld Comtoyou Audi Audi 1.168s 12
20 Gabriele Tarquini BRC Squadra Corse Hyundai 1.185s 10
21 Tom Coronel Comtoyou Cupra Cupra 1.192s 11
22 Attila Tassi KCMG Honda 1.335s 12
23 Ma Qinghua Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 1.386s 9
24 Gordon Shedden WRT Audi 1.648s 11
25 Kevin Ceccon Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 1.713s 11
26 Tiago Monteiro KCMG Honda 2.137s 9

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