Robert Huff has again continued his sparkling qualifying form by heading a Chevrolet 1-2 in qualifying for the first of tomorrow’s two races in the World Touring Car Robert Huff has qualified fastest for tomorrow's first race at ZolderChampionship’s Race of Belgium at Zolder.

With the RML Chevrolets looking clear favourites to take outright pole after heading the timesheets in the day’s earlier practice sessions, all three drivers comfortably made it into the afternoon’s top-ten qualifying session, where Huff took pole from team-mate Alain Menu by just 0.140 seconds.

Their team-mate and defending series champion Yvan Muller could have made it a Chevrolet trifecta when he set on his final hot lap with a clear track in front of him, but he blotted his copybook when he ran wide at Turn 4. He will start from fourth, behind former WTCC champion Gabriele Tarquini, who hauled his underpowered SEAT to third-quickest, less than three-tenths slower than Huff’s pole time.

Tiago Monteiro – fastest in the opening qualifying session – will start from fifth place for tomorrow’s opening race, and the bottom half of the top-ten shootout is made up solely of Independent Trophy drivers, with Kristian Poulsen, Norbert Michelisz, Franz Engstler, Fredy Barth and Mehdi Bennani completing the starting order.

Barth was the tenth-quickest runner in the opening session, and with the top-ten-fastest drivers’ places reversed for the Race 2 grid, this means the Swiss driver will start from pole alongside Engstler. Huff will start from fifth place for Race 2, and is the best-placed Chevrolet driver.

Tom Coronel - here leading Fredy Barth - was unable to make the Q2 cutThe qualifying session saw a few noticeable absentees, with Tom Coronel just missing out on a Q2 berth after a difficult qualifying session that saw the Dutchman complain of braking problems after the session was over.

Michel Nykjær was another driver to miss out on a Q2 berth. The SEAT driver clipped a guardrail at the chicane on his out-lap and was unable to continue.

The two Bamboo Engineering entries would also be disappointed that neither of their brand-new Chevrolet Cruze turbos was able to make much of an impression, particularly after Darryl O’Young had featured in the top-ten in practice. O’Young and team-mate Yukinori Taniguchi will start from 14th and 17th for tomorrow’s two races.

 

2011 FIA WTCC Race of Belgium Q1 & Q2 Session Times (Race 1 Grid):

Driver Team Time
1. Robert Huff GBR RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:38.458 (Q2)
2. Alain Menu SUI RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:38.598 (Q2)
3. Gabriele Tarquini ITA Lukoil-SUNRED SEAT León 2.0 TDI SEAT 1:38.723 (Q2)
4. Yvan Muller FRA RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:38.738 (Q2)
5. Tiago Monteiro POR SUNRED SEAT León 2.0 TDI SEAT 1:38.907 (Q2)
6. Kristian Poulsen DEN Team Engstler BMW 320TC BMW 1:39.398 (Q2)
7. Norbert Michelisz HUN Zengõ-Dension Team BMW 320TC Chevrolet 1:39.450 (Q2)
8. Franz Engstler DEU Team Engstler BMW 320TC BMW 1:39.962 (Q2)
9. Fredy Barth SUI Swiss SEAT León 2.0 TDI SEAT 1:40.015 (Q2)
10. Mehdi Bennani MOR Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC BMW 1:40.438 (Q2)
11. Tom Coronel NED ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW 1:39.680  
12. Pepe Oriola ESP SUNRED SEAT León 2.0 TDI SEAT 1:39.780  
13. Robert Dahlgren SWE Polestar Volvo C30 Volvo 1:39.807  
14. Darryl O’Young HKG Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:39.931  
15. Aleksei Dudukalo RUS Lukoil-SUNRED SEAT León 2.0 TDI SEAT 1:40.110  
16. Marchy Lee Ying Kin HKG KK Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW 1:40.406  
17. Yukinori Taniguchi JPN Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:41.712  
18. Urs Sonderegger SUI Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC BMW 1:43.537  
19. Fabio Fabiani ITA Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si BMW 1:44.820  
20. Michel Nykjær DEN SUNRED SEAT León 2.0 TDI SEAT no time  
21. Javier Villa García ESP Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC BMW no time

Top-10 starting order determined via a separate top-ten single-lap qualifying session

————————————————————————————————————-

2011 FIA WTCC Race of Belgium Q1 Session Times (Race 2 Grid):

Driver Team Time
1. Fredy Barth SUI Swiss SEAT León 2.0 TDI SEAT 1:39.638
2. Franz Engstler DEU Team Engstler BMW 320TC BMW 1:39.583
3. Gabriele Tarquini ITA Lukoil-SUNRED SEAT León 2.0 TDI SEAT 1:39.493
4. Norbert Michelisz HUN Zengõ-Dension Team BMW 320TC BMW 1:39.417
5. Robert Huff GBR RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:39.373
6. Alain Menu SUI RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:39.367
7. Yvan Muller FRA RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:39.365
8. Mehdi Bennani MOR Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC BMW 1:39.328
9. Kristian Poulsen DEN Team Engstler BMW 320TC BMW 1:39.293
10. Tiago Monteiro POR SUNRED SEAT León 2.0 TDI SEAT 1:38.952
11. Tom Coronel NED ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW 1:39.680
12. Pepe Oriola ESP SUNRED SEAT León 2.0 TDI SEAT 1:39.780
13. Robert Dahlgren SWE Polestar Volvo C30 Volvo 1:39.807
14. Darryl O’Young HKG Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet time
14. Darryl O’Young HKG Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:39.931
16. Marchy Lee Ying Kin HKG KK Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW 1:40.406
17. Yukinori Taniguchi JPN Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:41.712
18. Urs Sonderegger SUI Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC BMW 1:43.537
19. Fabio Fabiani ITA Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si BMW 1:44.820
20. Michel Nykjær DEN SUNRED SEAT León 2.0 TDI SEAT no time
21. Javier Villa García ESP Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC BMW no time

Top-10 starting order determined reversing the order of the ten fastest drivers in Q1.

[Original images via FIA WTCC Media]

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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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