Yvan Muller secures pole position for Ningbo race one

Yvan Muller secures pole position for Ningbo race one

Yvan Muller
Photo: Frederic Le Floc'h / DPPI

Lynk & Co’s Yvan Muller took pole position for the first FIA World Touring Car Cup race at Ningbo in China on Saturday, edging out home hero Ma Qing Hua by less than a tenth of a second.

Frenchman Muller secured his first pole of the season in a tightly-fought session, as less than a second covered the top 21 cars around the 4 km circuit.

It also marks a home pole for the Lynk & Co, the Chinese manufacturer being run by Cyan Racing in the series.

“The first part of the job is done, now we have to confirm it in the race,” said Muller. “It will be difficult to overtake, but anything can happen. It will be an interesting race.”

First practice pace-setter Ma had to settle for second at his home race, just 0.050 seconds behind in the Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo.

PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona, fastest in second practice, put his CUPRA in third and will be joined on the second row of the grid by the Hyundai of Norbert Michelisz.

Johan Kristoffersson was the leading SLR Volkswagen driver in fifth, ahead of BRC’s Nicky Catsburg in sixth.

Comtoyou Racing’s Aurélien Panis was seventh in his CUPRA, ahead of the Hyundai of Augusto Farfus in eighth.

Championship leader Esteban Guerrieri was the best Honda driver in ninth, whilst PWR Racing’s Daniel Haglöf was tenth and made it three CUPRAs in the top ten.

Race one gets underway at 15:40 local time (08:40 BST 09:40 CEST).

Qualifying result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 100 Yvan MULLER Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 11 1:50.848 0.000
2 55 Ma QING HUA Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 12 1:50.898 0.050
3 96 Mikel AZCONA PWR Racing CUPRA TCR 12 1:50.988 0.140
4 5 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 1:51.015 0.167
5 14 Johan KRISTOFFERSSON SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 9 1:51.118 0.270
6 88 Nicky CATSBURG BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 1:51.255 0.407
7 21 Aurélien PANIS Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing CUPRA TCR 11 1:51.309 0.461
8 8 Augusto FARFUS BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 1:51.406 0.558
9 86 Esteban GUERRIERI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 11 1:51.427 0.579
10 37 Daniel HAGLÖF PWR Racing CUPRA TCR 9 1:51.493 0.645
11 10 Niels LANGEVELD Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 10 1:51.521 0.673
12 111 Andy PRIAULX Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 11 1:51.526 0.678
13 11 Thed BJÖRK Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 13 1:51.557 0.709
14 31 Kevin CECCON Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 10 1:51.575 0.727
15 22 Frédéric VERVISCH Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 11 1:51.652 0.804
16 68 Yann EHRLACHER Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 10 1:51.749 0.901
17 12 Rob HUFF SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 10 1:51.791 0.943
18 29 Néstor GIROLAMI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 8 1:51.807 0.959
19 25 Mehdi BENNANI SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 11 1:51.809 0.961
20 33 Benjamin LEUCHTER SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 11 1:51.826 0.978
21 18 Tiago MONTEIRO KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR 11 1:51.847 0.999
22 69 Jean-Karl VERNAY Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 10 1:51.868 1.020
23 1 Gabriele TARQUINI BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 1:52.026 1.178
24 9 Attila TASSI KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR 11 1:52.099 1.251
25 50 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing CUPRA TCR 11 1:52.162 1.314
26 52 Gordon SHEDDEN Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 10 1:52.590 1.742