BMW’s Augusto Farfus has secured his second pole position of the 2010 World Touring Car Championship season at the end of a chaotic qualifying session for this weekend’s double-race header at Oschersleben.
With the major manufacturer runners making it into the top-ten qualifying shoot-out, the form guide was threatened by the arrival of rain-heavy clouds over the German circuit as the second session got underway.
With all drivers keen to post a time before the inevitable downpour hit, the RBM BMW duo of Augusto Farfus and Andy Priaulx emerged quickest after their first runs.
Robert Huff used his second timed lap to leapfrog a host of cars into second place on the time screens, only to lose it on the damp surface the very next lap, turning his Chevrolet into a lazy half-spin. As he attempted to spin-turn his car back the right way, he succeeded in getting collected by his team-mate Alain Menu, in an embarrassing own-goal for the team.
At the same time, Gabriele Tarquini took his SEAT for a spot of off-road driving as he slid into the wall, and Norbert Michelisz also had an off-track moment as the circuit grew wetter by the minute.
With conditions becoming treacherous, the red flags were unfurled with three minutes to run, and the race officials called time on further running as the conditions continued to worsen.
This left the final grid order with Farfus on pole ahead of Huff, with Priaulx and Menu on the second row. Completing the top ten were Michelisz, Tarquini, Tom Coronel, Yvan Muller, Jordi Gené and Tiago Monteiro, who failed to post a Q2 time after clobbering the tyre bundles in Q1, having posted a time good enough to get into Q2.
Michelisz, however, will start from 15th place for tomorrow’s opening race, as a 10-place grid penalty was awarded for the accident he caused with Colin Turkington at the last round in Brno.
FIA 2010 WTCC Oschersleben Qualifying Results:
* Denotes 10-place grid penalty for causing an avoidable accident at the previous round.
[Original image via Motorsport.com]