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Slovakia Ring, Qual.: Muller returns to WTCC pole in Slovakia

Muller edged out Catsburg by 0.04 seconds

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By Olivier Ferret

16 April 2016 - 15:39
Slovakia Ring, Qual.: Muller returns to

Yvan Muller edged out Nicky Catsburg by 0.04 seconds in qualifying for the FIA WTCC Race of Slovakia to claim the DHL Pole Position.

A lap of 2m03.910s helped Muller to top Q3 for the first time since last year’s visit to the Slovakia Ring, and came despite a low-key start to the weekend for Citroën.

Catsburg fell only four hundredths of a second short of giving LADA its maiden pole position in the WTCC. Defending champion and points leader José María López took third, despite causing a red flag in Q1 when he went off through the gravel on his first flying lap and dropped gravel over the track.

Honda’s Norbert Michelisz was quickest in Q2 but had to make do with fourth in the final order, ahead of team-mate Rob Huff.

In Q2, Thed Björk narrowly missed out on a place in the final segment for Polestar. The Swede ended up sixth ahead of Tiago Monteiro, Mehdi Bennani and Hugo Valente, who will start on pole for the Opening Race. Tom Chilton and Fredrik Ekblom are set to share row six on the grid for both races.

John Filippi was beaten to a place in Q2 by Huff, and was joined in making an early exit by compatriot Grégoire Demoustier. On his WTCC return, James Thompson was 14th ahead of Tom Coronel, who struggled with a mechanical problem on his Chevrolet, and WTCC qualifying first-timer Ferenc Ficza.

Pos. Driver Team Car Q1 time Q2 time Q3 time
1 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2:04.841 2:04.710 2:03.910
2 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Lada 2:04.999 2:04.457 2:03.950
3 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2:04.720 2:04.524 2:04.191
4 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2:04.743 2:04.297 2:04.378
5 Rob Huff Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2:05.315 2:04.762 2:04.751
---------- -------- -------- -------- --------- ---------
6 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Volvo 2:04.882 2:04.821
7 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2:05.109 2:04.883
8 Gabriele Tarquini LADA Sport Lada 2:05.052 2:04.950
9 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2:04.770 2:04.998
10 Hugo Valente LADA Sport Lada 2:04.604 2:05.022
11 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2:05.058 2:05.227
12 Fredrik Ekblom Polestar Cyan Volvo 2:05.178 2:05.279
---------- -------- -------- -------- --------- ---------
13 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 2:05.444
14 Grégoire Demoustier Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2:06.105
15 James Thompson Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 2:06.222
16 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2:07.005
17 Ferenc Ficza Zengo Honda 2:07.202

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