Zandvoort WTCR: Huff on pole, Hyundai continues to struggle

Rob Huff claimed his first qualifying pole position of the World Touring Car Cup season at Zandvoort, edging Yann Ehrlacher and Gordon Shedden in a frenetic Sunday session.

Huff was one of the half hour session's early pacesetters in his Volkswagen, and returned to the head of the times after a mid-session stoppage - to retrieve Zsolt Szabo's Zengo Motorsport Cupra from the gravel at the Renaultbocht right-hander - with a 1m44.141s lap.

First practice pacesetter Ehrlacher was able to nose his Munnich Motorsport Honda back ahead on his penultimate run, but Sebastien Loeb Racing driver Huff had more to come and reeled off a 1m43.945s to secure pole before sitting out the final minutes of the session.

Ehrlacher stayed out for another attempt but was unable to improve on his time and ended up 0.113 seconds back in second, ahead of three-time BTCC champion Shedden.

Audi driver Shedden produced comfortably his best qualifying performance since joining the WTCR world cup grid for 2018, and will head an all-WRT second row at the start of Sunday's race from teammate Jean-Karl Vernay.

Benjamin Lessennes continued his impressive patch of form in his Boutsen Ginion Honda to grab fifth, qualifying less than four tenths off the pace, ahead of the leading Comtoyou Audi of Nathanael Berthon.

A Peugeot 308TCR will start a WTCR race from inside the top 10 for the first time thanks to Aurelien Comte's 1m44.531s effort in his DG Sport machine, which was enough to give him seventh ahead of home favourite Tom Coronel.

Frederic Vervisch (Comtoyou Audi) and Ehrlacher's Munnich Motorsport teammate Esteban Guerrieri rounded out the top 10.

After Hyundai appeared to struggle in Saturday's pair of qualifying sessions, Norbert Michelisz showed improved pace in his BRC Racing car and will start 14th - five places ahead of the next best Hyundai, YMR's Thed Bjork.

James Thompson was the final driver to qualify within a second of Huff's time and will start 15th, ahead of the leading Alfa Romeo and Cupra representatives of Gianni Morbidelli and Pepe Oriola.

Wildcard entrants Michael Verhagen and Prince Bernhard van Oranje qualified 25th and 27th respectively in their Bas Koeten-run Audi.

Qualifying results:

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGap
1 12 GBR Rob Huff Volkswagen 1'43.945  
2 68 FRA Yann Ehrlacher Honda 1'44.058 0.113
3 52 GBR Gordon Shedden Audi 1'44.102 0.157
4 69 FRA Jean-Karl Vernay Audi 1'44.252 0.307
5 63 BEL Benjamin Lessennes Honda 1'44.340 0.395
6 23 FRA Nathanael Berthon Audi 1'44.488 0.543
7 7 FRA Aurelien Comte Peugeot 1'44.531 0.586
8 9 HOL Tom Coronel Honda 1'44.596 0.651
9 22 BEL Frederic Vervisch Audi 1'44.597 0.652
10 86 ARG Esteban Guerrieri Honda 1'44.599 0.654
11 25 MAR Mehdi Bennani Volkswagen 1'44.671 0.726
12 21 FRA Aurelien Panis Audi 1'44.689 0.744
13 20 BEL Denis Dupont Audi 1'44.719 0.774
14 5 HUN Norbert Michelisz Hyundai 1'44.790 0.845
15 15 GBR James Thompson Honda 1'44.939 0.994
16 10 ITA Gianni Morbidelli Alfa Romeo 1'44.975 1.030
17 74 ESP Pepe Oriola Seat 1'45.102 1.157
18 27 FRA John Filippi Seat 1'45.128 1.183
19 11 SWE Thed Bjork Hyundai 1'45.195 1.250
20 88 ITA Fabrizio Giovanardi Alfa Romeo 1'45.387 1.442
21 48 FRA Yvan Muller Hyundai 1'45.451 1.506
22 70 SVK Mat'o Homola Peugeot 1'45.535 1.590
23 8 HUN Norbert Nagy Seat 1'45.607 1.662
24 30 ITA Gabriele Tarquini Hyundai 1'45.622 1.677
25 3 HOL Michael Verhagen Audi 1'45.743 1.798
26 66 HUN Zsolt Szabo Seat 1'46.182 2.237
27 2 HOL Bernhard van Oranje-Nassau Audi 1'46.603 2.658
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About this article
Series WTCR
Event Zandvoort
Track Zandvoort
Drivers Rob Huff
Teams Sébastien Loeb Racing
Article type Qualifying report