Alain Menu has continued his strong end-of-season form by claiming pole position for this weekend’s penultimate round of the World Touring Car Championship at the Shanghai International Circuit.
After being quickest in the opening phase of qualifying today, the Swiss driver topped the top-twelve pole shootout in Q2 to beat Chevrolet team-mate and championship leader Yvan Muller by just 0.026 seconds.
Chevrolet had looked set to claim a lockout of the first two rows of the grid for tomorrow’s opening race, only for Norbert Michelisz to insert his BMW into third place, ahead of Robert Huff and Colin Turkington – making a one-off outing in a Cruze run by West Surrey Racing.
The result represents an excellent turnaround for the Hungarian, who had a shocking round last time out at Suzuka which saw his lead in the Independent Trophy standings dramatically trimmed.
Huff’s fourth-placed result gives him more work to do in his quest to claim the championship points lead from Muller, with whom he shared the championship lead heading into this weekend’s maiden visit to the Shanghai International Circuit.
Suzuka’s Race 2 winner Stefano D’Aste finished up sixth-fastest in his BMW, while Pepe Oriola claimed seventh-quickest and the unusual honour of being the fastest SEAT runner – a title usually bestowed to Gabriele Tarquini, who could only manage ninth-fastest.
Tom Coronel finished the session tenth-fastest to secure pole position for the reverse-grid Race 2, with the Dutchman hoping that he’ll be able to make one of his customary lightning getaways to skip into an early lead and secure his first win of the season.
2012 FIA WTCC Race of China Q1 & Q2 Session Times:
|1.||Alain Menu||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:54.383|
|2.||Yvan Muller||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:54.409|
|3.||Norbert Michelisz||Zengõ Motorsport BMW 320TC||1:54.523||Y|
|4.||Robert Huff||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:54.582|
|5.||Colin Turkington||WSR Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:54.777|
|6.||Stefano D’Aste||Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC||1:55.142||Y|
|7.||Pepe Oriola||Tuenti Racing Team SEAT León WTCC||1:55.325||Y|
|8.||Alex MacDowell||Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:55.378||Y|
|9.||Gabriele Tarquini||Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC||1:55.451|
|10.||Tom Coronel||ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC||1:55.720|
|11.||Aleksei Dudukalo||Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC||1:55.840||Y|
|12.||Fredy Barth||Swiss Racing SEAT León WTCC||1:56.296||Y|
|Q2 CUT-OFF: 1:55.586||Q1 Time|
|13.||Mehdi Bennani||Proteam Racing BMW 320TC||1:55.616||Y|
|14.||Darryl O’Young||Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:55.637||Y|
|15.||James Nash||Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC||1:55.658|
|16.||Fernando Monje||SUNRED Engineering SEAT León WTCC||1:55.734||Y|
|17.||Tiago Monteiro||JAS Honda Civic S2000 TC||1:55.742|
|18.||Charles Ka-Ki Ng||Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC||1:55.851||Y|
|19.||Alberto Cerqui||ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC||1:55.973||Y|
|20.||Tom Boardman||Special Tune Racing SEAT León WTCC||1:56.012||Y|
|21.||Franz Engstler||Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC||1:56.577||Y|
|22.||Tom Chilton||Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC||1:56.904|
|23.||Hugo Valente||Tuenti Racing SR León 1.6T||1:57.947||Y|
|24.||Eric Kwong||Look Fong Racing Chevrolet Cruze LT||1:59.352||Y|
|25.||Kelvin Leong||Song Veng Honda Accord Euro R||2:00.864||Y|
|26.||Kin Veng Ng||China Dragon Chevrolet Lacetti||2:00.969||Y|
|27.||Filipe de Souza||China Dragon Chevrolet Lacetti||2:01.059||Y|
|107% CUT-OFF: 2:04.374||Q1 Time|
|NQ.||Alex Liu Lic Ka||Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320si||55.013||Y|
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).
Latest posts by Richard Bailey (see all)
- 2020 F1 Season Review (Blu Ray) - 27 February, 2021
- WTCR: Guerrieri outwits Muller at the Nordschleife - 26 September, 2020
- WTCR: Girolami breaks Nordschleife lap record to claim pole - 25 September, 2020
- WTCR: Hyundai withdraws from Germany round - 24 September, 2020
- WTCR: Ehrlacher leads Lynk & Co podium sweep at Zolder - 13 September, 2020