Yvan Muller admitted that he was “extremely happy” to have secured his third pole position of the 2012 World Touring Car Championship season in Brazil, after heading a Chevrolet 1-2-3.
Frenchman Muller topped both practice sessions ahead of Qualifying and he then topped both parts of qualifying ahead of round 15, and he has extended his Championship lead with the Pole Position.
“I am extremely happy with this pole position because it was not easy to be back on the track again after a relatively long break,” explained the reigning Champion. “It was a very closely-fought qualifying session. My team mates were in quite a good shape and we all worked very well throughout the various sessions.
“In Q2, my first two attempts were not that good, but the third clinched it and everything went well and the pole was mine.”
Joining Muller on the front row of the grid is Alain Menu and the Swiss driver is pleased with his qualifying result after a few small issues in free practice.
“I am very happy with the second-fastest time, it’s a great result,” added the Swiss driver, who is third in the Championship. “The set up for the Free Practice 2 was slightly off but we sorted matters out by qualifying. I could have gained a few thousandths of a second here and there, but Yvan set a very good time and I don’t think I could have beaten him to pole in this session.”
Completing the Chevrolet top three lock out is Rob Huff. The British driver, Muller’s closest rival in the Championship has fallen another two points behind the Frenchman in the Championship standings.
“It was a slightly disappointing qualifying for me, but it was a great team performance,” said Huff. “In my fast lap, I managed good times in sectors 1 and 2, but lost in the third as I couldn’t get on the throttle fully in turn 8, the fastest one. I’ll try to make up in the races tomorrow.”
The two bamboo engineering Chevrolet Cruzes ensured that it was five Cruzes inside the top six with the returning Michel Nykjaer finishing fourth fastest overall with Alex MacDowall sixth. The Chevrolets were split by the Lukoil Racing Team SEAT of Gabriele Tarquini. The bamboo drivers finished first and second in the Yokohama Independents class.
“Chevrolet had a great qualifying session today,” concluded Eric Neve. “One important aspect to highlight is the excellent result obtained by the two Bamboo Engineering cars, which are in the top six and dominated the Independents’ rankings. I think it’s the first time there are so many Cruzes so high in qualifying.”