Alain Menu has claimed pole position in Morocco

Chevrolet’s Alain Menu has claimed pole position for the opening race of this weekend’s World Touring Car Championship round on the streets of Marrakech in Morocco.

The Swiss driver – winner of the last race at Valencia – fended off strong challenges from team-mate Robert Huff and ROAL BMW driver Tom Coronel, with the top three drivers covered by less than seven-hundredths of a second in the final phase of qualifying.

Fourth-quickest in Q2 – having just scraped into the twelfth and final spot for the second leg of qualifying – was Gabriele Tarquini in the Lukoil SEAT, but the Italian was stripped of his times after qualifying when stewards found his car to be underweight. He will start both of tomorrow’s races from the back of the grid.

His penalty promoted championship leader Yvan Muller into fourth spot, while the third row of tomorrow’s first race will be occupied by the Independent Trophy runners Pepe Oriola and Alex MacDowell.

Tarquini was stripped of his qualifying times Both Ford drivers made it into Q2

After showing some excellent pace in the earlier practice sessions, both Ford drivers made it into Q2 for the first time this season. Tom Chilton will start from seventh, while Independent Trophy runner James Nash will start from pole position in Race 2’s partially reversed grid.

Stefano D’Aste clobbered the circuit’s high kerbs and broke a driveshaft on his flying lap attempt, leaving him as the slowest Q2 runner.

Local hero Mehdi Bennani failed to make the top-twelve shootout in his Proteam BMW and will start from the seventh row, while Aleksei Dudukalo crashed out in Q1 and failed to post a time.


2012 FIA WTCC Race of Morocco Q1 & Q2 Session Times:

Driver Team Q2 Time YIT
1. Alain Menu SUI RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:43.901  
2. Robert Huff GBR RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:43.929  
3. Tom Coronel NED ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW 1:43.968  
4. Yvan Muller FRA RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:44.201  
5. Pepe Oriola ESP Tuenti Racing Team SEAT León WTCC SEAT 1:44.498 Y
6. Alex MacDowell GBR Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:44.544 Y
7. Tom Chilton GBR Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC Ford 1:44.681  
8. Franz Engstler DEU Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC BMW 1:44.822 Y
9. Tiago Monteiro POR Tuenti Racing SR León 1.6T Sunred 1:44.870  
10. James Nash GBR Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC Ford 1:44.982 Y
11. Stefano D’Aste ITA Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC BMW 1:51.464 Y
  Q2 CUT-OFF: 1:45.281 Q1 Time  
12. Norbert Michelisz HUN Zengõ Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW 1:45.495 Y
13. Pasquale di Sabatino ITA Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:45.692 Y
14. Mehdi Bennani MOR Proteam Racing BMW 320TC BMW 1:45.707 Y
15. Darryl O’Young HKG Special Tune Racing SEAT León WTCC SEAT 1:45.834 Y
16. Charles Ka-Ki Ng HKG Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC BMW 1:45.965 Y
17. Alberto Cerqui* ITA ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW 1:46.041 Y
18. Tom Boardman GBR Special Tune Racing SEAT León TDi SEAT 1:46.562 Y
19. Isaac Tutumlu ESP Proteam Racing BMW 320TC BMW 1:47.294 Y
20. Andrea Barlesi BEL SUNRED Engineering SR León 1.6T Sunred 1:47.872 Y
21. Aleksei Dudukalo RUS Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC SEAT No Time Y
EX. Gabriele Tarquini* ITA Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC SEAT Disallowed  

* Gabriele Tarquini’s Q1 and Q2 qualifying times were disallowed when his car was found to be underweight in post-qualifying scrutineering. Alberto Cerqui will also be demoted to the back of the grid for changing his engine.

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).



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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.
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