Gabriele Tarquini will line up for tomorrow’s opening race at Zolder from the coveted pole position after a rain-interrupted qualifying session in Belgium.

Tarquini will start from pole at  Zolder The former F1 driver and defending WTCC Champion posted the quickest time overall after the first runs of the 10-minute top-ten shoot-out in the second phase of qualifying, and was helped by a late shower that prevented anyone from bettering the Italian’s time.

Tarquini’s team-mate Jordi Gené will start alongside him on the front row, ahead of a trio of Chevrolet Cruzes belonging to Alain Menu, Yvan Muller and Robert Huff.

Completing the top-ten are three more SEAT Leóns belong to Norbert Michelisz, Fredy Barth and Tiago Monteiro, with the two works BMWs of Andy Priaulx and August Farfus completing the top-ten on the grid.

It was the BMWs that were hardest hit by the rain, and they were only able to post one hot lap run in Q2, which occurred for both Andy Priaulx and August Farfus as the heavens began to open.

A surprise knock-out in the first qualifying session was Tom Coronel, who fell down the order in the final minutes of the session despite sitting comfortably in the top-six at the session’s halfway point.

In the Independents’ Trophy race, it was local driver Pierre Yves Corthals who emerged quickest in his petrol-powered SEAT León. His compatriot Vincent Radermecker – making a one-off appearance at Zolder for Chevrolet – will probably be disappointed to start from 16th place.

FIA 2010 WTCC Round 4 Zolder Qualifying Results:

  Driver Car Q1 Time Q2 Time
1. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT León TDI 1:38.999 1:38.265
2. Jordi Gené SEAT León TDI 1:39.061 1:38.430
3. Alain Menu Sui Chevrolet Cruze LT 1:38.840 1:38.494
4. Yvan Muller FRA Chevrolet Cruze LT 1:39.037 1:38.584
5. Robert Huff Chevrolet Cruze LT 1:39.187 1:38.779
6. Norbert Michelisz HUN SEAT León TDI 1:39.072 1:39.072
7. Fredy Barth Sui SEAT León TDI 1:39.151 1:39.173
8. Tiago Monteiro SEAT León TDI 1:38.875 1:39.255
9. Andy Priaulx BMW 320si 1:39.030 1:42.856
10. Augusto Farfus BMW 320si 1:39.112 1:52.493
11. Tom Coronel NED SEAT León TDI 1:39.456  
12. Michel Nykjær DEN SEAT León TDI 1:39.472  
13. Pierre-Yves Corthals (I) BEL_thumb11_thumb1_thumb[1] SEAT León TFSI 1:39.610  
14. Darryl O’Young (I) Chevrolet Lacetti 1:39.824  
15. Kristian Poulsen DEN BMW 320si 1:39.863  
16. Vincent Radermecker BEL_thumb11_thumb1_thumb[1] Chevrolet Cruze LT 1:40.003  
17. Franz Engstler (I) BMW 320si 1:40.058  
18. Sergio Hernández (I) BMW 320si 1:40.278  
19. Stefano D’Aste (I) BMW 320si 1:40.287  
20. Harry Vaulkhard (I) Chevrolet Lacetti 1:40.395  
21. Mehdi Bennani (I) BMW 320si 1:40.738  
22. Andrey Romanov (I) BMW 320si 1:42.934  

[Original images via FIA WTCC official website]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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