Yvan Muller grabs another pole
The Chevrolet Cruze cars completed a clean sweep in today’s qualifying at Curitiba. As it was expected Yvan Muller, Alain Menu and Rob Huff monopolized the top three positions, and Michel Nykjær provided the icing on the cake grabbing fourth place on his WTCC comeback.
Just like he had done in the two free practice sessions, Muller was able to go faster than his two team-mates and claimed his third pole position of the season.
Called in at the last minute to replace Pasquale Di Sabatino at bamboo-engineering, Nykjær cproved that he still knows how to be competitive in the WTCC and stole fourth position from Gabriele Tarquini with an impressive last lap in Q2.
For the whole day Tarquini had tried to chase the Chevrolet trio. However, the Italian driver spoiled his first lap in Q2 by driving too wide at the last turn and had to pit for new tyres. This might have jeopardized his chances of achieving a better result than fifth, just ahead of Alex MacDowall and Darryl O’Young.
None of the BMW drivers was ever able to fight for top positions, but eventually Norbert Michelisz and Tom Coronel qualified tenth and ninth, meaning a full BMW front row on the reversed grid for Race 2.
Alex MacDowall was the fastest in the early stages with a lap of 1:23.726, followed by Rob Huff’s 1:23.781. Then Yvan Muller and Alain Menu jumped on top. The Swiss driver was timed at 1:22.877, but his French team-mate ousted him with a lap of 1:22.824.
Behind them Michel Nykjær set the fourth fastest time of 1:23.567, with his teammate MacDowall completing a Chevrolet quintet on top.
Tom Coronel managed to squeeze among the top-twelve, emerging as the best of the rest in sixth position (1:23.925) just ahead of Gabriele Tarquini (1:23.764).
Norbert Michelisz was the last one to win a place in Q2, moving up to seventh and kicking Alberto Cerqui off the top-twelve.
Pepe Oriola and Stefano D’Aste were the prominent victims of Q1, with the Italian driver who had to blame himself for making twice the same mistake at the last corner.
The following drivers adavanced to Q2: Muller, Menu, Huff, Nykjær, MacDowall, Coronel, Tarquini, Michelisz, O’Young, Dudukalo, Monteiro and Bennani.
The Chevrolet trio topped the classification from the very last lap, with Muller (1:22.512) ahead of Menu (1:22.522) and Huff (1:22.736).
They all managed to improve on their second attempt. Muller claimed the pole for good with a lap of 1:22.289, while Menu (1:22.444) and Huff (1:22.592) maintained their second and third positions.
In the dying seconds of the session, Tarquini posted a provisional fourth fastest lap of 1:22.947, but Nykjær demoted him to fifth, posting a 1:22.765 that gave him the pole in the Yokohama Trophy. FLASH NEWS
NASH PROMOTES SAFETY WITH SCHOOL CHILDREN
Ford driver James Nash has been spreading the message of road safety with a group of school children in Curitiba, Brazil, distributing 200 high visibility jackets provided by one of his sponsors.
Nash visited the Eneas Farias public school in one of Curitiba’s underprivileged suburbs, Vila Autodromo to promote the message of Road Safety. Nash commented, “Road safety is a very important message, especially in Brazil and if I can help in any way to raise awareness and keep children safe then I’m happy. The children were hugely appreciative that we can out to see them. I’m looking forward to more projects like this as we move round the world.”
Carolina Dalledonne, from the Paraná State Government said, “We were delighted to have James show his support. I know how busy he is but he delivered a valuable message that will help the children of Curitiba, and the high visibility jackets went down very well.”
THEY SAID, THEY SAID…
Yvan Muller (pole position): “I was thinking to the qualifying for the whole day. I knew it would have been a tough fight for pole position with Alain and Rob. Especially Alain was always very close, only one or two hundredths behind me. I was very pleased with my second attempt in Q2, without that perfect lap Alain would beat me. It is always important to be faster in qualifying, but now we have to see what happens tomorrow. We expect to have higher temperatures for the races, but on this track this shouldn’t be an issue.”
Alain Menu (2nd): “Yvan did a very good job. I am disappointed to be in second position, and despite a little mistake on my last attempt I think I have done my best today. Now I have something in mind to change my car a little bit and make it more competitive for tomorrow’s races.”
Rob Huff (3rd): “I am very happy with the set up of the car, although I struggled a little bit in the first sector, especially at turn 1. I am a little bit disappointed myself , but if I look at the team results, then I must say that it was a great day for Chevrolet with five cars in the top six.”
Michel Nykjær (1st in Yokohama Trophy): “I am very happy to come back to WTCC and claim such a great result. The car was really good and I was able to be fast straight away. I made a couple of mistakes, but my last lap in Q2 was very good. Now I hope I can put in a good show in the races.