Crashes force Q2 to be run on Saturday
Muller fastest in disrupted qualifying
The WTCC qualifying session in Macau came to a premature end as darkness fell even before the completion of the 30-minute Q1.
Four red flags delayed the whole programme and after the umpteenth crash, the Race Director decided to call it a day with two minutes still to go. This also meant that the final 15-minute shootout for pole position will be postponed until Saturday morning.
Yvan Muller (2:31.948) set fastest lap ahead of Rob Huff (2:32.323) and Tiago Monteiro (2:32.416).
Q1 – With an extended 30-minute session given to allow extra time when racing on street circuits, the WTCC field headed out on track. However, the red flags were out only a couple of minutes later as Tom Coronel made a heavy impact with the barrier at Fishermen’s Bend. He limped into the pits with a great deal of damage to his SEAT León TDI as the marshals worked to rebuild the barrier. Just under an hour later the session resumed with SR-Sport working amazingly quick to have Coronel also ready to rejoin.
Only minutes into the restarted session and Andy Priaulx smashed into the “R” Bend losing his front-left wheel. He limped back to the pits as the red flags came out yet again following Masaki Kano spinning his BMW 320si and ending stranded in the middle of the track by the pit exit.
With just 12-minutes left to get a clear lap in the pressure was on with the top ten currently reading Rob Huff from Alain Menu, Norbert Michelisz, Yvan Muller, Darryl O’Young, Gabriele Tarquini, Andy Priaulx, Tiago Monteiro, Augusto Farfus and André Couto. The ten lap times set right at the start of the session.
With just 7m 41s left on the clock, the session was red flagged for the third time as Kristian Poulsen crashed losing a wheel at the Teddi Ip Bend while Sergio Hernández crashed out at Maternity Bend.
With the light fading and headlamps on it was a last dash to the line in the final minutes but as Yvan Muller crossed the line to jump to the top of the times, Tom Coronel stopped out on track meaning another red flag which signaled the end of the session.
The drivers going through into Q2 remain unchanged although with the order now Muller from Huff, Monteiro, Menu, Michelisz, O’Young, Tarquini, Priualx, Farfus and Couto.
|Pos.||Driver||Car||Q1 time||Q2 time|
|01||Y. Muller||Chevrolet Cruze||2m31.948s|
|02||R. Huff||Chevrolet Cruze||2m32.323s|
|03||T. Monteiro||Seat Leon TDI||2m32.416s|
|04||A. Menu||Chevrolet Cruze||2m32.809s|
|05||N. Michelisz||Seat Leon TDI||2m33.013s|
|06||D. O’Young||Chevrolet Lacetti||2m33.197s|
|07||G. Tarquini||Seat Leon TDI||2m33.274s|
|08||A. Priaulx||BMW 320si||2m33.331s|
|09||A. Farfus||BMW 320si||2m33.610s|
|10||A. Couto||Seat Leon TDI||2m33.869s|
|11||F. Barth||Seat Leon TDI||2m34.045s|
|12||M. Nykjaer||Seat Leon TDI||2m34.190s|
|13||T. Coronel||Seat Leon TDI||2m34.191s|
|14||S. Hernandez||BMW 320si||2m34.689s|
|15||C. Turkington||BMW 320si||2m35.246s|
|16||F. Engstler||BMW 320si||2m37.094s|
|17||M. Bennani||BMW 320si||2m37.984s|
|18||Y. Taniguchi||Chevrolet Lacetti||2m39.267s|
|19||C. Campanico||BMW 320si||2m40.315s|
|20||H. Ho||BMW 320si||2m40.396s|
|21||K. Chen||BMW 320si||2m40.840s|
|22||N. Taniguchi||BMW 320si||2m40.897s|
|23||K. Poulsen||BMW 320si||2m42.455s|
|—||Not qualified||Maximum time||2m42.584s||----------|
|24||J. Merszei||BMW 320si||2m45.002s|
|25||M. Kano||BMW 320si||2m45.474s|
|26||A. Romanov||BMW 320si||11m00.386s|
|27||P. Ma||Honda Accord||11m11.963s|
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