Muller beats Lopez to pole in Slovakia

Yvan Muller took pole position for the Slovakia WTCC round in a close fight with Citroen teammate Jose Maria Lopez.

Qualifying was a fight principally between Lada and Citroen, with Lada leading the timesheets at the start of Q1 while the Citroens waited to make their run later in the 20-minute session.

When the Citroens did show their colours, it was points leader Lopez was fastest ahead of teammate Ma Qing Hua, with Rob Huff and Nicky Catsburg third and fourth in the Lada Vestas.

The last driver to get bumped out of the top 12 was Zengo Motorsport driver Norbert Michelisz, who was knocked down to 13th by Mat'o Homola in the Campos Racing Chevrolet, with the Slovakian showing his best pace of the weekend despite technical issues blighting him in practice so far this weekend.

In the second part of qualifying, with 10 minutes and a two-minute lap, it was effectively a one-shot affair, and the Citroens led the way with Muller setting the fastest time ahead of Lopez and Sebastien Loeb, with the two Ladas of Rob Huff and Nicky Catsburg completing the top five and heading into the one-lap shootout.

Hugo Valente was the best placed independent driver and Chevrolet in sixth, with Ma Qing Hua seventh in the Citroen seventh ahead of ROAL Chevrolet driver Tom Chilton eighth.

Gabriele Tarquini was ninth fastest and the only Honda in the top 12, and will start from the front-row for race two, while Jaap van Lagen qualified tenth and will therefore start race two from provisional pole position.

Qualifying results:

Pos   Driver   Car  Time   Gap 
Yvan Muller Citroen 2'03.736  
Jose Maria Lopez Citroen 2'03.959 0.223
Sebastien Loeb Citroen 2'04.583 0.847
Rob Huff Lada 2'04.598 0.862
Nick Catsburg Lada 2'04.905 1.169
Hugo Valente Chevrolet 2'04.858 1.122
Ma Qing Hua Citroen 2'05.012 1.276
Tom Chilton Chevrolet 2'05.108 1.372
Gabriele Tarquini Honda 2'05.312 1.576
10  Jaap van Lagen Lada 2'05.346 1.610
11  Mat'o Homola Chevrolet 2'06.081 2.345
12  Mehdi Bennani Citroen 2'06.103 2.367
13  Norbert Michelisz Honda 2'05.659 1.923
14  John Filippi Chevrolet 2'05.691 1.955
15  Tom Coronel Chevrolet 2'05.729 1.993
16  Stefano D'Aste Chevrolet 2'06.191 2.455
17  Tiago Monteiro Honda 2'06.263 2.527
18  Nestor Girolami Honda 2'06.264 2.528
19  Gregoire Demoustier Chevrolet   -

Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes

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About this article
Series WTCC
Event Slovakia
Track Slovakia Ring
Drivers Yvan Muller
Teams Citroën World Touring Car team
Article type Qualifying report