WTCR Zandvoort: Rob Huff takes pole position for race one

Rob Huff claimed his first qualifying pole position of the World Touring Car Cup season at Zandvoort, edging Yann Ehrlacher and Gordon Shedden in a frenetic Sunday session

Huff was one of the half hour session's early pacesetters in his Volkswagen Golf GTi, and returned to the head of the times after a mid-session stoppage - to retrieve Zsolt Szabo's Zengo Motorsport Cupra from the gravel at the Renaultbocht right-hander - with a 1m44.141s lap.

First practice pacesetter Ehrlacher was able to nose his Munnich Motorsport Honda Civic back ahead on his penultimate run, but Sebastien Loeb Racing driver Huff had more to come and reeled off a 1m43.945s to secure pole before sitting out the final minutes of the session.

Ehrlacher stayed out for another attempt but was unable to improve on his time and ended up 0.113 seconds back in second, ahead of three-time British Touring Car champion Shedden.

Audi driver Shedden produced comfortably his best qualifying performance since joining the WTCR world cup grid for 2018, and will head an all-WRT second row at the start of Sunday's race from team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay.

Benjamin Lessennes continued his impressive patch of form in his Boutsen Ginion Honda to grab fifth, qualifying less than four tenths off the pace, ahead of the leading Comtoyou Audi RS3 LMS of Nathanael Berthon.

A Peugeot 308TCR will start a WTCR race from inside the top 10 for the first time thanks to Aurelien Comte's 1m44.531s effort in his DG Sport machine, which was enough to give him seventh ahead of home favourite Tom Coronel.

Frederic Vervisch and Ehrlacher's team-mate Esteban Guerrieri rounded out the top 10.

After Hyundai appeared to struggle in Saturday's pair of qualifying sessions, Norbert Michelisz showed improved pace in his BRC Racing car and will start 14th - five places ahead of the next best i30 N, YMR's Thed Bjork.

James Thompson was the final driver to qualify within a second of Huff's time and will start 15th, ahead of the leading Alfa Romeo and Cupra representatives of Gianni Morbidelli and Pepe Oriola.

Wildcard entrants Michael Verhagen and Prince Bernhard van Oranje qualified 25th and 27th respectively in their Bas Koeten-run Audi RS3 LMSs.

Race one grid

Pos Driver Team Car Gap Laps
1 Rob Huff Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen 1m43.945s 10
2 Yann Ehrlacher Munnich Motorsport Honda 0.113s 12
3 Gordon Shedden WRT Audi 0.157s 10
4 Jean-Karl Vernay WRT Audi 0.307s 13
5 Benjamin Lessennes Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda 0.395s 14
6 Nathanael Berthon Comtoyou Racing Audi 0.543s 12
7 Aurelien Comte DG Sport Competition Peugeot 0.586s 10
8 Tom Coronel Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda 0.651s 12
9 Frederic Vervisch Comtoyou Racing Audi 0.652s 9
10 Esteban Guerrieri Munnich Motorsport Honda 0.654s 13
11 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen 0.726s 10
12 Aurelien Panis Comtoyou Racing Audi 0.744s 11
13 Denis Dupont Comtoyou Racing Audi 0.774s 12
14 Norbert Michelisz BRC Racing Team Hyundai 0.845s 10
15 James Thompson Munnich Motorsport Honda 0.994s 13
16 Gianni Morbidelli Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 1.030s 12
17 Pepe Oriola Campos Racing Cupra 1.157s 12
18 John Filippi Campos Racing Cupra 1.183s 11
19 Thed Bjork YMR Hyundai 1.250s 13
20 Fabrizio Giovanardi Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 1.442s 11
21 Yvan Muller YMR Hyundai 1.506s 11
22 Mat'o Homola DG Sport Competition Peugeot 1.590s 9
23 Norbert Nagy Zengo Motorsport Cupra 1.662s 13
24 Gabriele Tarquini BRC Racing Team Hyundai 1.677s 10
25 Michael Verhagen Bas Koeten Racing Audi 1.798s 13
26 Zsolt Szabo Zengo Motorsport Cupra 2.237s 2
27 Bernhard van Oranje Bas Koeten Racing Audi 2.658s 13

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