RML lands Argentina front row with Muller on pole, Chilton second

Yet another pole position for Muller in his RML Chevrolet Cruze! His teammate Chilton secured 2nd for the World Touring Car Championship's inaugural race at Termas de Río Hondo circuit. Making his, López will start race 2 from pole in his homeland.

Yvan Muller, driving an RML Chevrolet Cruze, will start from pole position in tomorrow’s first race at Termas de Río Hondo – the fifth consecutive time the French driver has qualified on pole.

Alongside Muller on the grid will be his teammate Tom Chilton, with the two Honda Civic cars of Norbert Michelisz and Gabriele Tarquini on the second row and another Chevrolet Cruze – the Tuenti Racing Team car of Pepe Oriola – in fifth place.

Tenth fastest was the BMW 320 TC of the Argentine driver ‘Pechito’ López, that will start from pole position on the top-ten reverse grid for Race 2. The first of tomorrow’s races is scheduled to start at 14.20 local time (19.20 CET) with Race 2 at 16.20.

Tom Chilton, Chevrolet Cruze 1.6 T, RML
Tom Chilton, Chevrolet Cruze 1.6 T, RML

Photo by: XPB Images

Qualifying 1

Yvan Muller set the fastest lap time in the twenty-minute session (1:49.158) but it was the Zengö Motorsport Honda Civic of Norbert Michelisz that was second quickest with a best lap of 1:49.247. Michel Nykjær was third in the Nika Racing Chevrolet (1:49.252), ahead of the Castrol Honda Civic cars of Tiago Monteiro (1:49.517) and Gabriele Tarquini (1:49.545).

‘Pechito’ López (1:49.819) was the only BMW driver to make it into Q2, while James Thompson (1:49.953) was tenth fastest in the LADA Granta and Hugo Valente (1:50.212) was the sole SEAT driver to progress. This was the first time the young Frenchman advanced to Q2.

Rob Huff only completed a single fast lap following an engine change after Free Practice 2, however with his car affected by turbo problems, the reigning world champion could not qualify better than 14th.

The following drivers went through to Q2: Muller, Michelisz, Nykjær, Monteiro, Tarquini, Chilton, Oriola, López, Nash, Thompson, MacDowall and Valente.

Jose Maria Lopez, BMW 320 TC, Wiechers-Sport
Jose Maria Lopez, BMW 320 TC, Wiechers-Sport

Photo by: XPB Images

Qualifying 2

Muller took over a second off his Q1 time, setting a best lap of 1:47.920 to claim pole position for Race 1, with Chilton second (1:48.423) and Michelisz third (1:48.855).

Tarquini (1:48.919) and Oriola (1:48.979) were the only other drivers to break the 1:49.000 barrier, with MacDowall, Monteiro, Nash, Nykjær and López rounding off the top ten. Alex MacDowall, therefore, took pole for the Yokohama Trophy, while López is on the threshold of making WTCC history; never has a driver won his first-ever WTCC race, but starting from pole position in Race 2 means the Argentine has a good chance of doing just that.


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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Tiago Monteiro , Yvan Muller , Tom Chilton , James Thompson , Rob Huff , Jose Maria Lopez , Gabriele Tarquini , Norbert Michelisz , Alex MacDowall , Pepe Oriola , Hugo Valente
Teams Zengo Motorsport
Article type Qualifying report
Tags argentina, bmw, chevrolet, chilton, cruze, honda, huff, lada, lopez, macdowall, michelisz, monteiro, muller, nash, nykjær, oriola, rml, seat, tarquini, valente, wtcc, yokohama