SECOND POLE FOR YVAN MULLER
Yvan Muller dominated today's qualifying session on the wet track. SEAT Sport's Frenchman made his ambitions clear from the start, posting a provisional fastest lap of 1:59.123. Eventually this time would have been enough to be on pole position but, just to be sure, Muller improved to 1:58.816, being the only driver under the 1:59. mark and securing his second pole of the season after Curitiba.
Muller's team-mate Gabriele Tarquini managed to give SEAT the full front row setting the second fastest lap just as the session expired. However, the Italian's time of 1:59.514 was nearly seven tenths slower than the pole. Immediately after Tarquini, Alain Menu was also able to improve to 1:59.610 and stole third position from his Chevrolet team-mate Robert Huff.
With Jordi Gene in fifth position, and fastest of the Spanish drivers, Andy Priaulx emerged as the best of the BMW drivers, setting the sixth fastest lap and placing ahead of fellow BMW colleagues Jorg Muller, Augusto Farfus and Alessandro Zanardi.
James Thompson had a difficult session and eventually qualified his N.technology Honda Accord in twelfth position.
The Independents' class saw a three-man fight for the pole. Local boy Sergio Hernandez looked to be the best placed to achieve it after his brilliant performance in the morning practices, but he was pipped by his Proteam Motorsport team-mate Stefano D'Aste by 0.048 seconds only. Pierre-Yves Corthals claimed third position in the class.
A number of drivers had problems in keeping the line on the flooded racetrack. Many of them spun (Muller and Muller even risked a nose-to-nose crash at turn 8) or paid visits to the gravel traps. Alexander Lvov was victim of a curious accident when he was forced to return to the pits after the front bonnet of his Golden Motors Honda Accord flipped open blocking the view.
In spite of this the session was disrupted only once by the red-flag, at half way, when Jaap van Lagen's LADA went off onto the gravel trap at turn 12.
ALAIN MENU'S TIMES DISALLOWED
After the end of the qualifying session the Stewards of the meeting disallowed all the times set by Alain Menu because his Chevrolet Lacetti did not comply with the 70-millimiter ground clearance.
This demoted the Swiss from third to the back of the grid and promoted Robert Huff to third and Jordi Gene to fourth.
LADA ALLOWED TO RACE BUT NOT TO SCORE
The Stewards, having received a report from the FIA Technical Delegate, decided to allow the two Russian Bears Motorsport LADA cars to take part in the event further to the agreement of all the other competitors, however the Russian cars will not be eligible to score points for both the championship and the Independents Trophy. The reason for this decision was that intake and outlet ports of the cylinder head were not conform to the homologation form.