Brno: Series qualifying report

ZANARDI SCORES FIRST POLE IN WTCC In a fiercely fought session BMW Team Italy-Spain's Alessandro Zanardi clocked the fastest lap in the dying seconds to take his first pole position in the championship. During the session he, Alain Menu...

ZANARDI SCORES FIRST POLE IN WTCC

In a fiercely fought session BMW Team Italy-Spain's Alessandro Zanardi clocked the fastest lap in the dying seconds to take his first pole position in the championship. During the session he, Alain Menu and Robert Huff continually fought for pole, until the Italian came out on top. He beat the lap record, set in 2004 by Rickard Rydell, by a second as he dipped below the two minutes and nine seconds with 2:08.913. He took the pole away from Chevrolet's Alain Menu who will start alongside him on the grid, one tenth behind him in time. Zanardi's team mate Felix Porteiro took third position pushing Chevrolet's Robert Huff down into fourth. Less than two tenths of a second covered the top four drivers as this proved to be a strong session for BMW Team Italy-Spain and Chevrolet.

Gabriele Tarquini was the only SEAT driver to challenge for the top spot during the session. Eventually he placed fifth, over half a second behind the leader, as the SEAT TDI cars are struggling for speed on this track. Tiago Monteiro followed him into sixth, and James Thompson pushed his car up into seventh place. Thompson found speed in the Honda and seemed to have the potential to fight for the pole throughout the session. Pau winners Augusto Farfus and Andy Priaulx struggled for pace and they will begin the first race in eighth and tenth, sandwiching Jordi Gene's SEAT.

Farfus' team mate Jorg Muller had more serious problems as he put his BMW in the gravel trap at Turn 7 on his fourth timed lap, which caused the session to be red flagged for a few minutes. His cars towed out of the gravel, the German could not rejoin.

Sergio Hernandez qualified in thirteenth overall and on pole position for the Independents' class, ahead of Pierre Yves Corthals and Franz Engstler with a time of 2:10.3541. Young local driver Michal Matejovský made a promising debut in the championship placing his SUNRED SEAT Leon fourth in the class.

-credit: fiawtcc.com

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Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Jorg Muller , Tiago Monteiro , James Thompson , Augusto Farfus , Sergio Hernandez , Franz Engstler , Felix Porteiro , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Alain Menu