José María López has won his second pole position of the 2014 World Touring Car Championship season, leading yet another 1-2-3 for Citroën Racing in a dramatic qualifying session at the Slovakia Ring. Sébastien Loeb and Yvan Muller will start Race 1 from second and third places, respectively.

With the Citroëns having dominated practice so far, it was a great surprise to see Zengõ Motorsport driver Norbert Michelisz’s Honda fastest in the opening qualifying session. Reigning champion Muller was second-fastest, with Tom Coronel putting his ROAL Chevrolet in third.

The same fortune would not befall Michelisz’s fellow Honda privateer, Mehdi Bennani. The Moroccan’s appalling luck plagued him yet again, with his Proteam Honda suffering a turbo problem and unable to post a lap time.

His absence left the LADA team with its first real chance of getting into Q2, although it too was one car down after Mikhail Kozlovskiy was also unable to set a time when his Granta was hit with more mechanical maladies. Nonetheless, Rob Huff came through to pip René Münnich for the twelfth and final spot.

Gianni Morbidelli

Morbidelli made the Q3 cut

The second phase of qualifying started in dramatic fashion when Gabriele Tarquini’s bonnet flew open, causing teammate Tiago Monteiro and Huff to take avoiding action. The works Honda driver was completely unsighted but managed to bring his car to a halt while the red flags were unfurled.

The time left meant that all of the Q2 runners only had the opportunity for one flying lap. López went quickest of all ahead of Michelisz and Loeb, while Tarquini took his repaired Civic eighth-fastest and Monteiro managed to tenth to give himself pole position for Race 2.

Also through to Q3 were Muller in the third Citroën, while Hungary race-winner Gianni Morbidelli also made the top-five.

The final phase’s one-lap shootouts saw Morbidelli post a competitive time, although he was ultimately slowest of the five as Muller, Loeb, Michelisz and then López – who became the first driver to break into the 2m03s barrier – bettered his effort.

Sunday’s first race takes place at 1:15pm local time (GMT +2), with Race 2 getting underway at 5:45pm.


2014 FIA WTCC Race of Slovakia – Final Qualifying:

Q3 Qualifiers Team Time Class
1. José María López Total Citroën Racing C-Elysée Citroen 2:03.912 TC1
2. Sébastien Loeb Total Citroën Racing C-Elysée Citroen + 0.372 TC1
3. Yvan Muller Total Citroën Racing C-Elysée Citroen + 0.629 TC1
4. Norbert Michelisz Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC Honda + 0.991 TC1
5. Gianni Morbidelli Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze Chevrolet + 1.019 TC1
Q2 Qualifiers Team Time Class
6. Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze Chevrolet 2:04.870 TC1
7. Tom Coronel nl ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze Chevrolet 2:04.988 TC1
8. Gabriele Tarquini Castrol Honda Racing Team Civic WTCC Honda 2:05.363 TC1
9. Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze Chevrolet 2:05.429 TC1
10. Tiago Monteiro Castrol Honda Racing Team Civic WTCC Honda 2:05.772 TC1
11. Dušan Borković Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze Chevrolet 2:06.835 TC1
12. Rob Huff LADA Sport Lukoil Granta Sport 1.6T LADA 2:07.002 TC1
Q1 Qualifiers Team Time Class
13. René Münnich Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze Chevrolet 2:06.625 TC1
14. James Thompson LADA Sport Lukoil Granta Sport 1.6T LADA 2:07.718 TC1
15. Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW E90 320TC BMW 2:12.390 TC2
16. Pasquale di Sabatino Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW E90 320TC BMW 2:13.381 TC2
17. Petr Fulín cz Campos Racing SEAT León WTCC SEAT
2:13.508 TC2
18. John Filippi Campos Racing SEAT León WTCC SEAT
2:13.786 TC2
Outside 107% Team Time Class
DNQ. Mikhail Kozlovskiy LADA Sport Lukoil Granta Sport 1.6T LADA no time TC1
DNQ. Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing Honda Civic WTCC Honda no time TC1

Images via FIA WTCC Media

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