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.
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:
[Original images via FIA WTCC official website]