Okayama: Series qualifying report

QUALIFYING - SO FARFUS SO GOOD Augusto Farfus continued to destroy all his competitors in Okayama. After he topped the test and two practice sessions he took pole position today on his first flying lap. He gradually bettered his time repeatedly,...

QUALIFYING - SO FARFUS SO GOOD

Augusto Farfus continued to destroy all his competitors in Okayama. After he topped the test and two practice sessions he took pole position today on his first flying lap. He gradually bettered his time repeatedly, and was on an even faster lap at the end, but aborted it when discovered that his pole was safe. The rest of the field battled for second place that was eventually taken by Farfus' team mate at BMW Team Germany, Jorg Muller, following a fight with Gabriele Tarquini, Tiago Monteiro and Alain Menu.

The German took the front row position in the final minutes to set a time only two tenths behind Farfus. The BMW Team Germany cars have been generally faster than the rest of the field all weekend so far, and even though many teams were trying out new set ups for qualifying, it seems these two drivers got it right from the very beginning in Friday's test.

SEAT Sport's Tarquini took third position following a consistent weekend, but this has been his best session so far enabling him to qualify above his Championship rivals. However due to a penalty he got at the previous race meeting he will have to start from eighth on the grid. He went straight at the chicane on the Monza circuit in the second race and was given a five place drop for tomorrow's race 1.

Fellow SEAT driver Monteiro also had his best performance by far this weekend to take fourth position, but will start third. The time taken to set up the car correctly during the previous sessions appears to have paid off. Chevrolet's highest placed driver was Alain Menu in fifth position, but will start fourth. Rickard Rydell notably will start in fifth position ahead of his Robert Huff. Independents' Trophy driver Stefano D'Aste will start from sixth position as he completed a fantastic lap to steal pole position from Wichers-Sport's Japanese driver Takayuki Aoki. The latter was eventually demoted to third when D'Aste team mate Sergio Hernandez clocked the second best time in the class.

Championship leader Yvan Muller struggled with technical problems and was only able to qualify tenth. He benefitted the most from Tarquini's drop in grid position because now his team mate and closest competitor in the title fight will be within reaching distance into the first corner.

It was a relatively incident free qualifying session despite the fact the drivers were pushing. Hong Kong newcomer Matthew Marsh spun and embedded his car into the gravel at turn 13, but he was the only driver to end up off the track.

-credit: fiawtcc.com

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Series WTCC
Drivers Tiago Monteiro , Yvan Muller , Augusto Farfus , Sergio Hernandez , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini , Stefano D'Aste , Matthew Marsh , Alain Menu