Pau: Qualifying notes

SECOND POLE POSITION FOR MENU Alain Menu will line up on pole for race one at Pau tomorrow; the second time for him in the season as he had already topped qualifying in Zandvoort. The Chevrolet man was battling with Yvan Muller for the duration...

SECOND POLE POSITION FOR MENU

Alain Menu will line up on pole for race one at Pau tomorrow; the second time for him in the season as he had already topped qualifying in Zandvoort. The Chevrolet man was battling with Yvan Muller for the duration of the session and eventually clocked a time of 1:21.930 which was 0.398 of a second faster than the SEAT man's attempt. Augusto Farfus qualified third but due to a penalty incurred at Valencia he will line up 13th.

The dying seconds saw Farfus' BMW 320si fly up in the air at the Foch bend and roll twice before landing upside-down. The young driver walked away from the incident with no injuries but his car was very badly damaged.

Tiago Monteiro achieved his best qualifying result: fourth with a time of 1:22.391 for SEAT Sport. Below him in fifth and sixth is a pair of Chevrolet cars: Nicola Larini's (1:22.416) and Rob Huff's (1:22.458). Larini's Lacetti suffered problems in the late stages of the session and he had to abandon his car at Virage du Lycee.

Andy Priaulx qualified seventh, and with Farfus' penalty, will line up as the best BMW.

Jordi Gene clocked a 1:22.591 which placed him 8th overall ahead of team-mate Gabriele Tarquini. Tarquini suffers the same penalty as Farfus following Valencia so the Italian will line up 19th.

Olivier Tielemans had a successful session despite straying from the track a couple of times at Foch. He qualified 11th overall for N.technology Alfa Romeo while his team-mate James Thompson was 13th fastest. Tom Coronel split the duo in 12th with a 1:22.948.

Debutant Anthony Beltoise accomplished a great lap to qualify 14th overall and the best independent competitor, stealing pole from Stefano D'Aste with only a few minutes to go in the session; a great start for the guest in the WTCC.

QUALIFYING QUOTES

Alain MENU
"I always enjoy street circuits and Pau I like. It's not easy to go fast here without making a mistake so I'm pleased with pole. I had to keep pushing right to the end because my initial time was only one tenth faster than Yvan Muller's. After an attempt in which I lost some time behind Porteiro I tried again and on that lap I don't think I could have gone any faster. Of course it helps to be on pole but then I have nineteen laps to do so we'll have to see. The length of the race could be tricky on the tyres, especially here because there are so many corners in which you accelerate out of fast."

Yvan MULLER
"I am disappointed because it would be better to be on pole but Alain (Menu) was quicker than me today. We had a good fight for all of the session. On my last runs to improve I was stopped by yellow flags due to Tielemans and Larini's incidents. Our car is brilliant in the corners but here it is difficult to overtake. I will put Alain under pressure and without a doubt if he makes a mistake I will make a move."

Augusto FARFUS
"My crash came because I pushed too hard. It was my mistake because I lost the rear, hit the wall, then hit the grass which made me jump and roll. I'm sad and angry about it because despite the penalty my aim was to qualify first. This track isn't the best for the BMWs but all weekend I have felt happy with the car so tomorrow I will try for some points...my fingers are crossed the car will be fixed overnight."

Anthony BELTOISE
"I think I had as many problems so far this weekend that many other drivers have in a whole season. Also, from lap one of qualifying I had drive shaft problems. Fourteenth may be good on one hand but on the other hand I'm over second behind Alain and that's quite a difference."

Andy PRIAULX
"I'm disappointed because I did not do a good lap on new tyres, because of yellow flags. Disappointed because I think we had potential to be in the top three. To be honest if you have given me this position yesterday I would have taken it."

Olivier TIELEMANS
"This is a very difficult track and for me is the first time on a street circuit. So it was very difficult to find the limit of the car and the track. I made some mistakes and suddenly... I don't know, probably I will never repeat that lap again. How did I do I still don't know, but it was a very good lap!"

-credit: wtcc

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Tom Coronel , Tiago Monteiro , Yvan Muller , James Thompson , Augusto Farfus , Rob Huff , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Stefano D'Aste , Nicola Larini , Anthony Beltoise , Olivier Tielemans , Alain Menu