Gordon Shedden claimed his first pole position in the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) in Sunday’s qualifying session in Wuhan, leading an Audi 1-2-3-4 ahead of Comtoyou Racing duo Frédéric Vervisch and Denis Dupont.
Shedden put his Leopard Lukoil Audi on pole by a mere 0.049 seconds as the Scot set the fastest lap of the weekend in Q3 in what was only his second visit to the final segment of qualifying this year.
Vervisch had to settle for second – the Belgian’s best qualifying performance of the season – ahead of Dupont, who was a further tenth back.
Saturday’s race one pole-sitter Jean-Karl Vernay could only manage fourth, the WRT driver failing to hook up any of the sectors on his qualifying run.
Esteban Guerrieri was the leading Honda driver in fifth, although the Münnich Motorsport driver was never really in the running in an Audi dominated affair, almost a second off the pace.
Nathanaël Berthon qualified his Comtoyou Racing Audi in sixth, ahead of Campos Racing’s Pepe Oriola in seventh, with the CUPRA driver crashing on his last lap in Q2 in an attempt to get through to Q3, causing a slight delay to the start of Q3.
DG Sport Compétition’s Aurélien Comte was eighth in the best of the Peugeots, whilst Chinese local Ma Qing Hua and Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Mehdi Bennani completed the top ten.
Ma will thus start on the reverse-grid second race front row for his home race, with the Volkswagen of Bennani alongside on pole position for the first race of the day.
Comtoyou Racing’s Aurélien Pans missed out on the pole by the smallest of margins – the Frenchman actually set an identical time to Bennani, but lost out due to the Moroccan racer having set his lap first.
Team Mulsanne’s Kevin Ceccon had looked promising for the reversed pole, but the Alfa Romeo driver returned to the pits well before the end of Q2 having got the best out of his tyres and was subsequently demoted to 12th, ending up two tenths of a second shy of the top ten.
Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Rob Huff was the leading driver not to progress beyond Q1, ending up 13th fastest after missing the cut-off by a mere 0.012 seconds.
The best of the Hyundai drivers was YMR’s Thed Björk in 14th, directly ahead of team-mate Yvan Muller in 15th. BRC Racing’s championship leader Gabriele Tarquini was just 16th fastest, whilst Norbert Michelisz once again struggled for pace in his i30 N and was just 22nd.
Also missing the cut, despite qualifying better on Saturday, was Münnich Motorsport’s Yann Ehrlacher, with the Frenchman being the second slowest of the Honda drivers in 21st.
Fabrizio Giovanardi’s woes continued – not only was the Team Mulsanne driver slowest of all, but he was almost two seconds slower than team-mate Ceccon in his Alfa Romeo, leaving him to start from 25th on the grid for both races.
Race two is scheduled to get underway at 15:45 local time (08:45 BST, 09:45 CEST).
|1||52||Gordon SHEDDEN||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||Audi RS3 LMS||3||1:22.776||0.000|
|2||22||Frédéric VERVISCH||Audi Sport Team Comtoyou||Audi RS3 LMS||3||1:22.825||0.049|
|3||20||Denis DUPONT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||3||1:22.959||0.183|
|4||69||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||Audi RS3 LMS||3||1:23.022||0.246|
|5||86||Esteban GUERRIERI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||3||1:23.744||0.968|
|1||52||Gordon SHEDDEN||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||Audi RS3 LMS||7||1:22.498||0.000|
|2||69||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||Audi RS3 LMS||7||1:22.718||0.220|
|3||22||Frédéric VERVISCH||Audi Sport Team Comtoyou||Audi RS3 LMS||7||1:22.826||0.328|
|4||20||Denis DUPONT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||7||1:22.960||0.462|
|5||86||Esteban GUERRIERI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||3||1:23.007||0.509|
|6||23||Nathanaël BERTHON||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||7||1:23.051||0.553|
|7||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Team Oscaro by Campos Racing||CUPRA TCR||5||1:23.068||0.570|
|8||7||Aurélien COMTE||DG Sport Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||6||1:23.081||0.583|
|9||55||MA Qing Hua||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||9||1:23.083||0.585|
|10||25||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||6||1:23.148||0.650|
|11||21||Aurélien PANIS||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||7||1:23.148||0.650|
|12||31||Kevin CECCON||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||6||1:23.333||0.835|
|1||69||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||Audi RS3 LMS||10||1:22.824||0.000|
|2||55||MA Qing Hua||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||16||1:22.963||0.139|
|3||21||Aurélien PANIS||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||11||1:22.968||0.144|
|4||20||Denis DUPONT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||11||1:23.040||0.216|
|5||22||Frédéric VERVISCH||Audi Sport Team Comtoyou||Audi RS3 LMS||11||1:23.052||0.228|
|6||31||Kevin CECCON||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||15||1:23.115||0.291|
|7||86||Esteban GUERRIERI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||13||1:23.133||0.309|
|8||23||Nathanaël BERTHON||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS||10||1:23.201||0.377|
|9||52||Gordon SHEDDEN||Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team||Audi RS3 LMS||10||1:23.207||0.383|
|10||7||Aurélien COMTE||DG Sport Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||15||1:23.310||0.486|
|11||25||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||15||1:23.328||0.504|
|12||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Team Oscaro by Campos Racing||CUPRA TCR||12||1:23.330||0.506|
|13||12||Rob HUFF||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||13||1:23.342||0.518|
|14||11||Thed BJÖRK||YMR||Hyundai i30 N TCR||14||1:23.346||0.522|
|15||48||Yvan MULLER||YMR||Hyundai i30 N TCR||14||1:23.433||0.609|
|16||30||Gabriele TARQUINI||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||15||1:23.488||0.664|
|17||27||John FILIPPI||Team Oscaro by Campos Racing||CUPRA TCR||14||1:23.547||0.723|
|18||42||Timo SCHEIDER||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||14||1:23.578||0.754|
|19||66||Zsolt Dávid SZABÓ||Zengő Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||15||1:23.656||0.832|
|20||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||DG Sport Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||13||1:23.663||0.839|
|21||68||Yann EHRLACHER||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||14||1:23.709||0.885|
|22||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||14||1:23.937||1.113|
|23||8||Norbert NAGY||Zengő Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||15||1:23.995||1.171|
|24||9||Tom CORONEL||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR||15||1:24.150||1.326|
|25||88||Fabrizio GIOVANARDI||Team Mulsanne||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||14||1:24.931||2.107|