Yvan Muller led an RML 1-2 in qualifying for the World Touring Car Championship on the streets of Porto, beating team-mate Tom Chilton to his 19th career pole position.
In Q2 Muller wasted no time in getting to the top of the timesheets, posting the quickest lap on his first attempt. Having also been fastest in Q1, the reigning champion held on to the top spot throughout Q2 to beat Chilton by 0.198 seconds.
Chilton himself posted the second-fastest time in the closing minutes of Q2, demoting Dane Michel Nykjær to third. Behind the Chevrolet trio is the top Honda of Norbert Michelisz, who was fourth fastest and the only other driver within a second of Muller.
James Thompson put his LADA fifth for race one, with the Brit only posting one flying lap in the fifteen-minute Q2 session. It marks Thompson’s best qualifying result of the season. He will be joined by Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini on row three.
Münnich Motorsport’s Rob Huff and Marc Basseng qualified in seventh and eighth respectively, with it being the first time since Morocco in april that Basseng has made it into Q2.
James Nash and Tom Coronel qualified in ninth and tenth respectively, with Coronel occupying the provisional pole position slot for the reverse-grid second race.
Franz Engstler qualified in 11th, making his first appearance in Q2 since the season finale in 2012. Pepe Oriola will start both races on Sunday from 12th after the young Spaniard hit the wall in Q2, causing a brief red flag stoppage in the process after he stopped on track further around the lap.
Just missing out on the cut to get into Q2 were Proteam Racing’s Mehdi Bennani, who lines up 13th for both races, and PB Racing’s Stefano D’Aste in 14th.
There was disappointment for home favourite Tiago Monteiro, however, with the Portugese star qualifying down in 17th. The Honda pilot had suffered an engine failure in second practice, and continued to report a loss of power during qualifying.
Also enduring a problematic qualifying was bamboo-engineering’s Alex MacDowall, who made contact with the barriers after around ten minutes. Although the Brit was able to limp back to the pits his team could not repair the front and rear damage to his Chevrolet and he consequently qualified down in 22nd.
Mikhail Kozlovskiy failed to post a time in Q1 as a result of the damage he sustained when he hit the barriers during second practice.
Round 13 takes place at 11:20 WEST on Sunday 30th June (11:20 BST, 12:20 CEST).