Monza - Tarquini places Seat back on pole

Michelisz will start Race 2 from pole position


By Franck Drui

10 March 2012 - 16:04
Monza - Tarquini places Seat back (...)

Gabriele Tarquini will start the first WTCC race of the 2012 season from pole position after setting the fastest time (1:57.915) in Qualifying this afternoon. In doing so, Tarquini’s SEAT León has ended the string of thirteen successive pole positions by Chevrolet that began in Macau in 2010. Behind the Italian driver on the grid will be the four Chevrolet Cruze cars of Yvan Muller, Robert Huff, Alain Menu and Rickard Rydell with seventh-placed Pepe Oriola the highest of the Yokohama Trophy contenders.

Q1 - The Chevrolet of Alain Menu was the early pace-setter in the session, but Pepe Oriola sprung a surprise after four laps when his SEAT León went fastest. The Spanish driver’s joy was short-lived, however, when Gabriele Tarquini and Robert Huff both went quicker. Yvan Muller then snatched the second-fastest time, with Alain Menu and the BMW of Norbert Michelisz also going quicker than Oriola before the session was red-flagged when Alberto Cerqui went off at the Parabolica.

The following drivers went through to Q2: Tarquini, Muller, Huff, Michelisz, Menu, Oriola, Dudalko, Coronel, Rydell, D’Aste, MacDowall and Wéber.

Q2 - Tarquini’s pole-winning time occurred on only his second lap, with the three factory Chevrolet drivers unable to better his performance. Muller (1:57.974), Huff (1:58.106) and Menu (1:58.200) will therefore all start behind the SEAT driver in tomorrow’s first race. The Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden Cruze of Rickard Rydell (1:58.319) and Tom Coronel in a BMW 320 TC (1:58.389) qualified fifth and sixth respectively, with Oriola (1:58.412) heading the Yokohama Trophy entrants in seventh. Alex MacDowall (1:58.507), Aleksei Dudukalo (1:58.649) and Norbert Michelisz (1:58.652) rounded off the top ten, with Stefano D’Aste (1:58.931) eleventh fastest and Gábor Wéber (1:59.348) twelfth.

Thanks to the reversed grid, it will be the BMW 320 TC of Norbert Michelisz that will start Race 2 from pole position.

Pos. Driver Car Q1 time Q2 time
1 Gabriele TARQUINI SEAT Leon WTCC 1:58.004 1:57.915
2 Yvan MULLER Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 1:58.191 1:57.974
3 Robert HUFF Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 1:58.243 1:58.106
4 Alain MENU Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 1:58.527 1:58.200
5 Rickard RYDELL Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 1:59.144 1:58.319
6 Tom CORONEL BMW 320 TC 1:59.120 1:58.389
7 Pepe ORIOLA SEAT Leon WTCC 1:58.532 1:58.412
8 Alex MACDOWALL Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 1:59.262 1:58.507
9 Aleksei DUDUKALO SEAT Leon WTCC 1:58.942 1:58.649
10 Norbert MICHELISZ BMW 320 TC 1:58.424 1:58.652
11 Stefano D’ASTE BMW 320 TC 1:59.187 1:58.931
12 Gabor WEBER BMW 320 TC 1:59.350 1:59.348
---------- -------- ------ --------
13 Franz ENGSTLER BMW 320 TC 1:59.435
14 James NASH Ford Focus S2000 TC 1:59.563
15 Tom CHILTON Ford Focus S2000 TC 1:59.723
16 Tiago MONTEIRO SEAT Leon TDi 1:59.743
17 Alberto CERQUI BMW 320 TC 1:59.841
18 Pasquale DI SABATINO Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 1:59.891
19 Charles NG BMW 320 TC 1:59.949
20 Mehdi BENNANI BMW 320 TC 2:00.300
21 Andrea BARLESI SEAT Leon TDi 2:00.394
22 Isaac TUTUMLU BMW 320 TC 2:01.333
23 Darryl O’YOUNG SEAT Leon WTCC 13:20.070


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