BTCC: Mondello Vauxhall qualifying

Yvan Muller took an historic pole position at Mondello Park on Saturday. The Frenchman brought his Vauxhall Motorsport Astra Coupe onto the front row of the grid for Sunday's first British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) races at the newly...

Yvan Muller took an historic pole position at Mondello Park on Saturday. The Frenchman brought his Vauxhall Motorsport Astra Coupe onto the front row of the grid for Sunday's first British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) races at the newly updated Irish circuit - and indeed the first BTCC races ever to be held outside the UK.

Muller benefitted from a red flag period caused by Egg Sport Astra Coupe driver Phil Bennett. When the session was suspended, it gave time for Muller's mechanics to alter his car's settings, allowing him to move ahead of Vauxhall Motorsport team-mate Jason Plato and take his historic pole position. Egg Sport's James Thompson and Bennett filled the second row of the grids for both races.

Quotes:

Yvan Muller, Car 4, Vauxhall Motorsport Astra Coupe Sprint - pole, 1:47.628; Feature - pole, 1:47.686

"To get two pole positions is useful for me here at Mondello. I did the same at Silverstone but didn't win a race. I feel more confident this weekend, although the Astra Coupe is still giving a little understeer. The circuit is nice and flowing and suits my driving style."

Jason Plato, Car 5, Vauxhall Motorsport Astra Coupe Sprint - 2nd, 1:47.759; Feature - 2nd, 1:47.810

"I didn't drive at all well - totally down to me. We had a bit of understeer and tried some different tyre pressures, but that didn't work. I think the tyres will only be good for about four laps, and the circuit is quite challenging. It's very hard to overtake here because of the nature of the circuit."

<pre> Qualifying - Sprint race: 1 Yvan Muller (F) Vauxhall Astra Coupe 1:47.628 2 Jason Plato Vauxhall Astra Coupe 1:47.759 3 James Thompson Vauxhall Astra Coupe 1:47.844 4 Phil Bennett Vauxhall Astra Coupe 1:48.373 5 Steve Soper Peugeot 406 Coupe 1:48.856 6 Kurt Luby Lexus IS200 1:49.849

Qualifying - Feature Race: 1 Yvan Muller (F) Vauxhall Astra Coupe 1:47.686 2 Jason Plato Vauxhall Astra Coupe 1:47.810 3 Phil Bennett Vauxhall Astra Coupe 1:47.907 4 James Thompson Vauxhall Astra Coupe 1:48.017 5 Steve Soper Peugeot 406 Coupe 1:49.142 6 Kurt Luby Lexus IS200 1:49.629

-Vauxhall Motorsport

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