Macau - Huff and Muller share the front row

Engstler will start on pole for the second race

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By Olivier Ferret

18 November 2011 - 11:26
Macau - Huff and Muller share the (...)

The fight for the Drivers’ world championship will have an exciting showdown on Sunday at Macau after Chevrolet team-mates and title contenders Rob Huff and Yvan Muller managed to qualify on the front row for Sunday’s Race 1.

Huff, who is chasing Muller twenty points behind, claimed his fourth pole position of the season. The first for him after those in the three opening events at Curitiba, Zolder and Monza. This also meant that Chevrolet completed a clean sweep in qualifying, winning twelve pole positions out of twelve events, that were equally shared between their three drivers.

Thanks to his advantage, Muller was not obliged to take too many risks and the second position will give the opportunity to control his younger team-mate. For the third Chevrolet man, Alain Menu, qualifying turned to black as he failed to make it to Q2 because of an accident.

This enabled Gabriele Tarquini to qualify third and local hero Darryl O’Young to achieve his best qualifying result ever.

The session had a curious end, as Huff stopped along the track after posting the fastest lap. It was not because of a mechanical failure, but cramps to his left calf!

Q1 – Robert Dahlgren set the fastest time in the first part of the qualifying session, completing a lap in 2:32.881. The Swede ousted Yvan Muller who had posted a provisional fastest time of 2:33.353 in the early minutes.

As usual Q1 provided lot of drama, with the drivers fighting to win places for Q2. Some of them took extra risks and some made mistakes, like Alain Menu who hit André Couto’s car before the Dona Maria Bend while trying to improve from his 13th position.

Charles Ng was another victim, crashing into the concrete wall at the Fishermen’s Bend just before the chequered flag was waved.

The latest minutes saw Darryl O’Young posting the second fastest lap (2:33.177), demoting Muller to third. André Couto moved up to fourth (2:33.954) and Tiago Monteiro failed to make the cut by only 0.088 seconds.

The following drivers advanced to Q2: Dahlgren, O’Young, Muller, Couto, Bennani, Tarquini, Coronel, Huff, Nykjær and Engstler who will start on pole for the second race.

Q2 – Drivers did not even have the time to complete the first lap that they were stopped by the red flag after Robert Dahlgren crashed his Volvo C30 at Paiol. The car caught fire, but the driver managed to come out by himself with a broken thumb.

The marshals had to clean the track from the oil spilled by the Volvo engine and the session resumed after 25 minutes.

Huff and Muller posted provisional fastest laps on the first attempt: 2:31.868 and 2:32.027 respectively.

In the late stages Coronel improved to 2:33.825 that gave him a provisional third place. However, the last tries reshuffled the positions. Muller retook the lead with a lap of 2:31.149, but just for the time Huff crossed the line claiming pole position with the time of 2:30.881.

The final drivers to take the flags were Gabriele Tarquini (2:32.147) and O’Young (2:32.519) who qualified third and fourth respectively, with the Chinese racer on pole for the Yokohama Trophy.

Pos. Driver Car Q1 time Q2 time
01 R. Huff Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 2:34.224 2:30.881
02 Y. Muller Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 2:33.353 2:31.149
03 G. Tarquini SR Leon 1.6T 2:34.085 2:32.147
04 D. O’Young Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 2:33.177 2:32.519
05 T. Coronel BMW 320 TC 2:34.171 2:33.825
06 M. Bennani BMW 320 TC 2:33.976 2:34.355
07 A. Couto SR Leon 1.6T 2:33.954 2:34.363
08 M. Nykjaer SR Leon 1.6T 2:34.232 2:34.498
09 F. Engstler BMW 320 TC 2:34.232 2:34.876
10 R. Dahlgren Volvo C30 2:32.881
-------- ------- ------- ------
11 T. Monteiro SR Leon 1.6T 2:34.320
12 N. Michelisz BMW 320 TC 2:34.526
13 A. Menu Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 2:34.804
14 K. Poulsen BMW 320 TC 2:35.131
15 J. Villa BMW 320 TC 2:35.321
16 P. Oriola SR Leon 1.6T 2:35.466
17 A. Dudukalo SR Leon 1.6T 2:36.694
18 C. Ng BMW 320 TC 2:39.822
19 G. Kwok BMW 320 TC 2:41.598
20 J. Merszei BMW 320 si 2:42.042
-------- ------- ------- ------
21 Mak Ka Lok BMW 320 si 2:43.810
22 F. Desouza Chevrolet Lacetti 2:44.720
23 P. Ma BMW 320 si 2:48.067
24 Kuok Io Keong Chevrolet Lacetti 3:05.627

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