It was a successful qualifying session for the British contingent of drivers in the World Touring Car Championship, with Chevrolet’s James Thompson and Honda’s Rob Huff taking pole position for the opening and main races respectively.
Thompson’s pole position was especially remarkable given it is only his second weekend in the Chevrolet Cruze TC1, taking advantage of a clear track to set a lap time good enough for tenth in session two. The rules as they are state that those placing fifth to tenth in Q2 are reversed to make up the top five of the grid for race one.
Alongside Thompson on the grid will sit LADA’s Hugo Valente who struggled a little in the session, just missing out on Q3 by less than five tenths of a second. Behind them will start Volvo’s Thed Björk alongside ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel who failed to replicate his blistering pace of Free Practice 2.
Meanwhile in Q3, a one lap shoot-out between the top five, a mistake at turn four by Citroën’s exuberant José-María López cost him enough time to lose out to Huff by just three tenths of a second. The mistake put him behind Tiago Monteiro and Norbert Michelisz, the latter of whom missed out on pole position by just three hundredths of a second.
While it was a successful weekend for Honda in Qualifying a disaster awaited them in MAC3. Comfortably out-pacing the LADA team, a mistake by Michelisz coming out of turn five that resulted in contact with the wall and consequent puncture and suspension damage cost them ten points.
The victory went to Citroën in a smooth, tactical run, that gives them their second MAC3 victory in a row.
As regards Honda, they will be ruing their mistakes, but with their performance in qualifying have a strong chance of out-pacing the Citroën’s in the races tomorrow.
Top ten times
|1||12||Rob HUFF||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda Civic WTCC||3||1:21.743|
|2||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda Civic WTCC||3||1:21.779||0.036|
|3||18||Tiago MONTEIRO||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda Civic WTCC||3||1:21.862||0.119|
|4||37||José María LÓPEZ||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||3||1:22.024||0.281|
|5||10||Nicky CATSBURG||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||3||1:22.161||0.418|
|The following times are from Q2|
|6||68||Yvan MULLER||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||7||1:22.115||0.658|
|7||9||Tom CORONEL||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||9||1:22.194||0.737|
|8||62||Thed BJÖRK||Polestar Cyan Racing||Volvo S60 WTCC||5||1:22.237||0.780|
|9||7||Hugo VALENTE||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||5||1:22.251||0.794|
|10||15||James THOMPSON||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||8||1:22.455||0.998|