Yvan Muller has deprived local fans of a homegrown pole position by beating Norbert Michesliz to top spot in qualifying for this weekend’s opening FIA World Touring Car Championship race at the Hungaroring.
The Frenchman’s run to pole position was utterly dominant, breaking the WTCC lap record around the twisty circuit with a rapid 1:53.426, smashing his own previous record at the venue by over a second.
After the opening Q2 runs, Muller led the way from the Honda duo of Tiago Monteiro and Gabriele Tarquini, but a second run for Michelisz gave the Hungarian driver a front-row start on his home circuit.
Behind the Honda trio, Tom Coronel claimed fifth place and the fastest BMW driver honours, while Muller’s teammate Tom Chilton was sixth-quickest.
James Nash took top Independent Trophy qualifying honours in the Bamboo Chevrolet with the seventh-fastest time, while Rob Huff was the only SEAT driver to make it into Q2, placing eighth.
Race 2’s reverse-grid front row will be occupied by the ninth- and tenth-fastest qualifiers, with Mehdi Bennani and Alex MacDowall ensuring an all-Independent Trophy front row for Sunday afternoon’s second twelve-lap dash.
Tom Boardman’s nightmare start to his 2013 championship season continued into this weekend. The Englishman’s Special Tune Racing SEAT will be sent to the back of the Race 1 grid after post-qualifying scrutineering found the car to be at too low a ride height.
2013 FIA WTCC Race of Hungary Q1 & Q2 Session Times:
|1.||Yvan Muller||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:53.426|
|2.||Norbert Michelisz||Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC||+ 0.380|
|3.||Tiago Monteiro||Castrol Honda Civic WTCC||+ 0.527|
|4.||Gabriele Tarquini||Castrol Honda Civic WTCC||+ 0.622|
|5.||Tom Coronel||ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC||+ 0.651|
|6.||Tom Chilton||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 0.755|
|7.||James Nash||Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 0.844||Y|
|8.||Robert Huff||Münnich Motorsport SEAT León WTCC||+ 0.954|
|9.||Mehdi Bennani||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC||+ 1.029||Y|
|10.||Alex MacDowall||Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 1.107||Y|
|11.||Michel Nykjær||NIKA Racing Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 1.546||Y|
|12.||Fredy Barth||Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC||+ 1.628||Y|
|Q2 CUT-OFF: 1:54.778||Q1 Time|
|13.||Pepe Oriola||Tuenti Racing Team SEAT León WTCC||1:54.851||Y|
|14.||Franz Engstler||Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC||1:54.958||Y|
|15.||Stefano D’Aste||PB Sport BMW 320TC||1:55.103||Y|
|16.||James Thompson||LADA Sport Granta||1:55.168|
|17.||Darryl O’Young||ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC||1:55.229||Y|
|18.||Charles Ka-Ki Ng||Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC||1:55.283||Y|
|19.||Fernando Monje||Campos Racing Team SEAT León WTCC||1:55.299||Y|
|20.||Tom Boardman*||Special Tune Racing SEAT León WTCC||1:55.421||Y|
|21.||Marc Basseng||Münnich Motorsport SEAT León WTCC||1:55.452|
|22.||Mikhail Kozlovskiy||LADA Sport Granta||1:55.608|
|23.||Hugo Valente||Campos Racing Team SEAT León WTCC||1:55.882||Y|
|24.||René Münnich||Münnich Motorsport SEAT León WTCC||1:56.656||Y|
|OUTSIDE 107%||Q1 Time|
The starting order for Race 1 is determined by the qualifying results indicated above, unless states otherwise. The ten-fastest drivers – as indicated by their Q2 fastest times – start in reverse starting order for Race 2, unless stated otherwise. (‘Y’ denotes Yokohama Independent Trophy entered driver).
* Tom Boardman received a ten-place grid penalty for Race 1 after failing a post-qualifying technical inspection.