Alain Menu will start from pole for the opening race at Suzuka

Alain Menu has kept his slim championship hopes alive by securing pole position for tomorrow’s first of two World Touring Car Championship races at Suzuka.

It is the Swiss driver’s third pole position of the season, and it also continues Chevrolet’s unbeaten run in the second phase of qualifying, which has seen the blue cars claim pole at every championship round of 2011.

It was a closely fought qualifying session, and this was evidenced by the grid’s top-four places being covered by just 0.08 seconds on the shorter circuit layout being used this weekend.

Menu shares the front row with team-mate and championship leader Yvan Muller, but Chevrolet’s hopes of another qualifying 1-2-3 were dashed by Robert Dahlgren, who muscled his Volvo into third, bumping Robert Huff into fourth place.

The top-ten is completed by ROAL BMW’s Tom Coronel, a trio of SUNREDs being driven by Tiago Monteiro, Michel Nykjær, Gabriele Tarquini, the Bamboo Chevrolet of Darryl O’Young (who provisionally holds pole position on the part-reverse-grid Race 2) and WTCC returnee Colin Turkington.

 

————————————————————————————————————-

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

Driver Team Time
1. Alain Menu SUI RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 53.443 (Q2)
2. Yvan Muller FRA RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 53.492 (Q2)
3. Robert Dahlgren SWE Polestar Volvo C30 ‘Drive’ Volvo 53.512 (Q2)
4. Robert Huff GBR RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 53.520 (Q2)
5. Tom Coronel NED ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW 53.601 (Q2)
6. Tiago Monteiro POR SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred 53.798 (Q2)
7. Michel Nykjær DEN SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred 53.811 (Q2)
8. Gabriele Tarquini ITA Lukoil-SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred 53.824 (Q2)
9. Darryl O’Young HKG Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 53.902 (Q2)
10. Colin Turkington GBR Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC BMW 54.339 (Q2)
11. Javier Villa García ESP Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC BMW 54.070 (Q1)
12. Yukinori Taniguchi JPN Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 54.073 (Q1)
13. Norbert Michelisz HUN Zengõ-Dension Team BMW 320TC BMW 54.126 (Q1)
14. Kristian Poulsen DEN Team Engstler BMW 320TC BMW 54.127 (Q1)
15. Aleksei Dudukalo RUS Lukoil-SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred 54.219 (Q1)
16. Franz Engstler DEU Team Engstler BMW 320TC BMW 54.411 (Q1)
17. Fredy Barth SUI Swiss SR León 1.6T Sunred 54.466 (Q1)
18. Hiroki Yoshimoto JPN SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred 54.730 (Q1)
19. Mehdi Bennani MOR Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC BMW 55.002 (Q1)
20. Charles Ka-Ki Ng HKG Team Engstler BMW 320si BMW 55.356 (Q1)
21. Masaki Kano JPN DeTeam KK BMW 320TC BMW 55.551 (Q1)
             
  OUTSIDE 107%       57.429  
22. Fabio Fabiani ITA Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si BMW 58.023  
23. Pepe Oriola* ESP SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred 54.730  
24. Toshihiro Arai** JPN RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet disallowed  

Top-10 starting order determined via a separate top-ten single-lap qualifying session. * Denotes 5-place grid penalty for engine change. ** Disqualified from qualifying for failing to stop at weighbridge

————————————————————————————————————-

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

Driver Team Time
1. Darryl O’Young HKG Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 53.956
2. Tom Coronel NED ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW 53.943
3. Robert Huff GBR RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 53.937
4. Yvan Muller FRA RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 53.893
5. Tiago Monteiro POR SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred 53.871
6. Robert Dahlgren SWE Polestar Volvo C30 ‘Drive’ Volvo 53.760
7. Alain Menu SUI RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 53.748
8. Gabriele Tarquini ITA Lukoil-SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred 53.734
9. Michel Nykjær DEN SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred 53.725
10. Colin Turkington GBR Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC BMW 53.672
11. Javier Villa García ESP Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC BMW 54.070
12. Yukinori Taniguchi JPN Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 54.073
13. Norbert Michelisz HUN Zengõ-Dension Team BMW 320TC BMW 54.126
14. Kristian Poulsen DEN Team Engstler BMW 320TC BMW 54.127
15. Aleksei Dudukalo RUS Lukoil-SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred 54.219
16. Franz Engstler DEU Team Engstler BMW 320TC BMW 54.411
17. Fredy Barth SUI Swiss SR León 1.6T Sunred 54.466
18. Hiroki Yoshimoto JPN SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred 54.730
19. Mehdi Bennani MOR Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC BMW 55.002
20. Charles Ka-Ki Ng HKG Team Engstler BMW 320si BMW 55.356
21. Masaki Kano JPN DeTeam KK BMW 320TC BMW 55.551
           
  OUTSIDE 107%       57.429
22. Fabio Fabiani ITA Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si BMW 58.023
23. Pepe Oriola* ESP SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred 54.730
24. Toshihiro Arai** JPN RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet disallowed

Top-10 starting order determined reversing the order of the ten fastest drivers in Q1. * Denotes 5-place grid penalty for engine change. ** Disqualified from qualifying for failing to stop at weighbridge.

[Original images via FIA WTCC Media]

————————————————————————————————————-

Get ready to buy your copy of SENNA on DVD or BluRay!

The following two tabs change content below.

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.

Latest posts by Richard Bailey (see all)

Share