Tom Chilton beated his team-mate Yvan Muller and grabbed his maiden pole position
RML’s Tom Chilton grabbed his maiden pole position in WTCC, beating his team-mate Yvan Muller by only one tenth of a second with a last gasp lap in Q2.
Muller, however, took another step towards securing the 2013 Drivers’ Championship when he qualified in second place. The Frenchman has a mathematical opportunity to take his fourth WTCC crown tomorrow, while Honda could also wrap up the Manufacturers’ title.
The Honda Civic of Tiago Monteiro claimed the third spot on the grid, the only car capable of splitting the group of Chevrolet machineries. Alex MacDowall of bamboo-engineering qualified fifth and best of the Yokohama Trophy, ahead of his team-mate James Nash.
Gabriele Tarquini will start from pole position of the top-ten reverse grid for the second race.
The first of tomorrow’s races is scheduled to start at 11.50 local time with Race 2 at 14.20.
Muller set a best lap time of 1:45.941 late in the session and was the only driver to beat the 1:46.000 barrier. Behind the Chevrolet were the two Honda Civic cars of Monteiro and Norbert Michelisz, with Muller’s teammate Tom Chilton and Pepe Oriola rounding off the top five. A frustrated Tom Coronel was knocked out of the top twelve in the dying moments of the session when Mehdi Bennani and then Marc Basseng set lap times good enough to take them into the second stage of Qualifying.
The following drivers went through to Q2: Muller, Monteiro, Michelisz, Chilton, Oriola, Basseng, Tarquini, Huff, Bennani, MacDowall, Nykjaer and Nash.
Muller immediately signaled his intentions by setting a lap time of 1:45.708 ahead of Chilton and Monteiro. Following a change of tyres, Chilton then snatched his first WTCC pole position from his colleague at the very last moment with a lap of 1:45.583. Monteiro (1:46.240) will start Race 1 from third on the grid, alongside the Chevrolet of Pepe Oriola (1:46.266), with Alex MacDowall fifth (1:46.411) and the leading Yokohama Trophy competitor. After qualifying in tenth place with a lap time of 1:46.865, Gabriele Tarquini will start from pole position for Race 2.