Yvan Muller takes pole as Lynk & Co continue to lock out...

Yvan Muller takes pole as Lynk & Co continue to lock out top three

Yvan Muller
Photo: Florent Gooden / DPPI

Yvan Muller secured pole position in qualifying for Sunday’s FIA World Touring Car Cup races at Zandvoort, beating team-mates Yann Ehrlacher and Thed Björk to the top time as Lynk & Co continued to dominate.

Muller had earlier posted an identical time to team-mate Björk in Q2, but in the final one-shot part of qualifying the Frenchman was in a class of his own, out-pacing his Cyan Racing team-mates to take pole by an impressive four tenths of a second.

His nephew Ehrlacher was his closest challenger, as the Frenchman pipped Björk to a front row grid position by half a tenth, as Björk had to settle for third.

Muller’s pole time of 1 minute 44.154 seconds was less than a tenth slower than the pole time posted by Björk on Saturday, which itself came just before controversial reversion of the Balance of Performance figures for the Chinese cars ahead of race one.

BRC Racing duo Norbert Michelisz and Augusto Farfus opted not to use fresh tyres in Q3, with the Hyundai drivers ending up in fourth and fifth respectively, Michelisz more than half a second off Muller’s lap but within a tenth of Björk.

Mikel Azcona was the first driver not to make it to Q3, the CUPRA driver missing out by just 0.003 seconds and ending up in sixth, ahead of BRC Racing’s Nicky Catsburg in seventh.

Nicky Catsburg was the top Dutchman on home soil, putting his BRC Hyundai in seventh, ahead of the best Volkswagen of Johan Kristoffersson in eighth.

Completing the top ten and securing the reverse grid front row for race two were SLR’s Benjamin Leuchter and Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri, the latter giving himself the best chance of extending his slender championship lead with pole for race two.

The second Münnich Honda of Néstor Girolami narrowly missed out on the reverse grid, ending up just 0.004 seconds slower than his compatriot in 11th for both races.

Rob Huff was 12th, as three of the four Volkswagen drivers made it through to Q2 for the first time this year.

Comtoyou Racing’s Aurélien Panis improved his time late in the session but just missed out on making it through to Q2 in his CUPRA, ending up in 13th, ahead of the BRC Racing Hyundai of Gabriele Tarquini in 14th.

None of the Audi drivers made it past Q1, with WRT’s Jean-Karl Vernay the best of the quartet in 15th, over half a second off the pace.

SLR’s Mehdi Bennani was 16th, whilst Andy Priaulx was the only Lynk & Co driver not to progress beyond Q1, putting his car in 17th for races two and three, with less than a tenth of a second covering the cars between 14th and 20th.

Home hero Tom Coronel was just 25th, whilst Gordon Shedden’s poor start to the season continued with the Audi driver propping up the timesheets, the only driver to be more than a second off the pace.

Race two is scheduled to get underway at 13:15 CEST (12:15 BST).

Q3 results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 100 Yvan MULLER Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 3 1:44.154 0.000
2 68 Yann EHRLACHER Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 3 1:44.597 0.443
3 11 Thed BJÖRK Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 3 1:44.656 0.502
4 5 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 3 1:44.734 0.580
5 8 Augusto FARFUS BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 3 1:46.233 2.079

Q2 results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 11 Thed BJÖRK Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 5 1:44.668 0.000
2 100 Yvan MULLER Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 5 1:44.668 0.000
3 5 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 5 1:44.734 0.066
4 8 Augusto FARFUS BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 3 1:44.813 0.145
5 68 Yann EHRLACHER Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 5 1:44.869 0.201
6 96 Mikel AZCONA PWR Racing CUPRA TCR 5 1:44.872 0.204
7 88 Nicky CATSBURG BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 3 1:44.895 0.227
8 14 Johan KRISTOFFERSSON SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 4 1:44.997 0.329
9 33 Benjamin LEUCHTER SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 5 1:45.005 0.337
10 86 Esteban GUERRIERI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 5 1:45.081 0.413
11 29 Néstor GIROLAMI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 5 1:45.085 0.417
12 12 Rob HUFF SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 5 1:45.214 0.546

Q1 results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 11 Thed BJÖRK Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 8 1:44.914 0.000
2 5 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 1:45.019 0.105
3 14 Johan KRISTOFFERSSON SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 9 1:45.026 0.112
4 100 Yvan MULLER Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 8 1:45.082 0.168
5 68 Yann EHRLACHER Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 8 1:45.090 0.176
6 96 Mikel AZCONA PWR Racing CUPRA TCR 7 1:45.090 0.176
7 88 Nicky CATSBURG BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 1:45.168 0.254
8 29 Néstor GIROLAMI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 8 1:45.172 0.258
9 12 Rob HUFF SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 8 1:45.173 0.259
10 8 Augusto FARFUS BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 1:45.186 0.272
11 86 Esteban GUERRIERI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 9 1:45.283 0.369
12 33 Benjamin LEUCHTER SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 9 1:45.295 0.381
13 21 Aurélien PANIS Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing CUPRA TCR 8 1:45.398 0.484
14 1 Gabriele TARQUINI BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 1:45.441 0.527
15 69 Jean-Karl VERNAY Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 8 1:45.455 0.541
16 25 Mehdi BENNANI SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 8 1:45.461 0.547
17 111 Andy PRIAULX Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 6 1:45.462 0.548
18 10 Niels LANGEVELD Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 8 1:45.509 0.595
19 31 Kevin CECCON Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 8 1:45.516 0.602
20 22 Frédéric VERVISCH Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 8 1:45.535 0.621
21 9 Attila TASSI KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR 9 1:45.594 0.680
22 37 Daniel HAGLÖF PWR Racing CUPRA TCR 7 1:45.616 0.702
23 18 Tiago MONTEIRO KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR 8 1:45.791 0.877
24 55 Ma QING HUA Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 8 1:45.797 0.883
25 50 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing CUPRA TCR 8 1:45.871 0.957
26 52 Gordon SHEDDEN Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 9 1:45.956 1.042