FIRST POLE FOR MONTEIRO AND SEAT Tiago Monteiro claimed SEAT's first pole position of the season and the first for him in WTCC at the end of a breathtaking qualifying session that challenged men, teams and machines to the limit.Rainfall before...
FIRST POLE FOR MONTEIRO AND SEAT
Tiago Monteiro claimed SEAT's first pole position of the season and the first for him in WTCC at the end of a breathtaking qualifying session that challenged men, teams and machines to the limit.Rainfall before the start and during the opening of the session meant the track was wet. Almost immediately Robert Huff strayed off the track at the North bend but rejoined. As the dying minutes saw the racing line dry out dramatically the Briton jumped from mid-way on the timesheet to 3rd fastest. His Chevrolet team-mate Nicola Larini was always in the front running and held provisional pole at various stages during the session. With one minute left the Italian rose to the top with a 1:50.195 which was seven tenths of a second better than anyone else. His determination did not wane as he improved his time by a further 0.022 of a second. It was only Monteiro who spoilt it for the man in blue as he crossed the line with a 1:50.056.
Fredrick Ekblom also had his sights on pole for he topped the timesheet on two occasions. Eventually the Swede posted the fourth best time overall and will be the leading BMW tomorrow. Behind him on the grid will be fellow countryman Rickard Rydell who set a 1:50.983.
Gabriele Tarquini too stood in contention for pole while team mate Jordi Gene repeatedly set the faster first sector time. Eventually Gene qualified sixth in the new Leon TDI; one place ahead of Tarquini. James Thompson drove his Alfa Romeo solidly to set the 10th best time and Robert Dahlgren set the 13th in his bio-fuelled Volvo S60.
Roberto Colciago was the fastest independent and qualified eighth. However, due to a penalty obtained in Porto, he will line up 18th. Therefore, the Independents' pole is handed to Luca Rangoni who qualified 16th.
ANDERSTORP QUALIFYING QUOTESTiago MONTEIRO
"In these conditions anything can happen. In the past I have hoped for wet weather, but funnily enough after how good the car was this morning, I wanted dry qualifying. In the last five minutes the track dried and with some risk-taking and a bit of luck I found a good time. I'm emotional and very pleased to have got SEAT its first pole this season."
"It's a dream to be on the front row after my pole four years ago. Especially considering Tiago's car is lighter than mine. In such conditions it is very difficult to stay on the track after the long straight but this is normal in the wet. On my second set of tyres there was little aquaplaning and therefore I got the best out of them. I'm hoping for a wet race."
"When I went out it was on a dry set-up with wet tyres because we were hoping the conditions would clear up quickly. I went off straight away but managed to get back on the track with no damage. The dry line came very fast during the last four laps and it worked well for us. If the conditions in the race are like they were in qualifying I will be happy."
"I'm happy for the team that we have shown our potential by qualifying 8th. However, I will actually begin from 18th. I won here in 2003 and it's great to be back. My goal is to finish the race."
"I really enjoyed the session and it's a fantastic car to drive. I was really enjoying myself as I was sliding around the long corners here. The conditions were certainly tricky but when you are in a car as good as this one it is all the more fun."
"The diesel car is completely new and in that respect these conditions were tricky because it took a bit longer to change the car's setup. With this in mind I'm quite happy to be sixth. Tomorrow I'd certainly prefer dry conditions."
"I was really hoping to be in the top eight. I think we had the opportunity but we didn't make the most of it because when it started to dry up we had been out on our tyres for too long and they were way too hot to do a good time."