Yvan Muller has smashed the Hungaroring’s qualifying lap to the tune of over five seconds en route to leading another Citroën qualifying sweep. The Frenchman pipped teammate José María López to top spot by just 0.034 seconds in a tense qualifying session.
Sébastien Loeb wound up third-fastest, ahead of the works Honda duo of Tiago Monteiro and Gabriele Tarquini.
For the first time this season, the Hondas were able to take the fight in qualifying to the three C-Elysée racers, as was evidenced by local hero Norbert Michelisz being able to break into the top-three in the opening phase of qualifying.
The four second-tier TC2T class runners brought up the rear of the grid – Pasquale di Sabatino claimed class pole honours for the first time this season – while the three LADAs and René Münnich’s Chevrolet were also knocked out of proceedings.
The second phase of qualifying saw López again lead the way from Muller and Loeb. A late effort from Tarquini saw him scrape into Q3 with teammate Monteiro, while Michelisz was unable to repeat his Q1 heroics when his Honda developed a steering issue.
Mehdi Bennani headed the list of Q2 knockouts, followed by the ROAL Chevrolets of Tom Chilton and Tom Coronel, then Gianni Morbidelli and Hugo Valente.
Dušan Borković had posted the tenth-fastest time to give himself pole position for Sunday’s second race, but his Chevrolet’s ride height was deemed too low and he was stripped of his qualifying times.
Sunday’s first race takes place at 1:35pm local time (GMT +2).
2014 FIA WTCC Race of Hungary – Final Qualifying:
|1.||Yvan Muller||Total Citroën Racing C-Elysée||1:48.727||TC1|
|2.||José María López||Total Citroën Racing C-Elysée||+ 0.034||TC1|
|3.||Sébastien Loeb||Total Citroën Racing C-Elysée||+ 0.386||TC1|
|4.||Tiago Monteiro||Castrol Honda Racing Team Civic WTCC||+ 0.439||TC1|
|5.||Gabriele Tarquini||Castrol Honda Racing Team Civic WTCC||+ 1.849||TC1|
|6.||Mehdi Bennani||Proteam Racing Honda Civic WTCC||1:49.745||TC1|
|7.||Tom Chilton||ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze||1:49.757||TC1|
|8.||Tom Coronel||ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze||1:50.428||TC1|
|9.||Gianni Morbidelli||Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze||1:50.728||TC1|
|10.||Hugo Valente||Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze||1:52.123||TC1|
|11.||Norbert Michelisz||Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC||No Time||TC1|
|DQ.||Dušan Borković*||Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze||Disallowed||TC1|
|12.||Rob Huff||LADA Sport Lukoil Granta Sport 1.6T||1:50.908||TC1|
|13.||James Thompson||LADA Sport Lukoil Granta Sport 1.6T||1:50.995||TC1|
|14.||René Münnich||Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze||1:51.123||TC1|
|15.||Mikhail Kozlovskiy||LADA Sport Lukoil Granta Sport 1.6T||1:52.451||TC1|
|16.||Pasquale di Sabatino||Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW E90 320TC||1:54.584||TC2|
|17.||Franz Engstler||Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW E90 320TC||1:55.121||TC2|
|18.||Yukinori Taniguchi||NIKA Racing Honda Civic S2000 TC||1:56.561||TC2|
|19.||John Filippi||Campos Racing SEAT León WTCC||1:56.588||TC2|
* Borković was stripped of his qualifying times after his car was deemed non-conforming following post-qualifying scrutineering. He will start from the back of the grid for both races.
Images via FIA WTCC Media