Alain Menu has taken pole position for the first race of the World Touring Car Championship round at the Hungaroring by setting the pace in qualifying. The Swiss driver has brought to an end a run of four consecutive Race 1 pole positions for his Chevrolet teammate Rob Huff, as the championship leader missed the cut for the second session and will start both races from 12th as a result.
Huff fell victim to the qualifying system for Race 2, where the top ten drivers in Q1 are revsersed to determine the grid for the second race. After some narrow escapes earlier this year, the Briton was finally caught out as he tried to get himself a place towards the lower end of the top ten. He got himself into ninth place with a few minutes remaining, only to be knocked down to 12th and unable to improve on his final attempt.
It was Mehdi Bennani who finished Q1 in tenth place, therefore claiming pole position for Race 2. Menu was ninth, placing him on the front row alongside the Moroccan, who should have been racing at home at Marrakech this weekend before the event’s cancellation. BMW drivers Kristian Poulsen and Tom Coronel will share the second row, with Tiago Monteiro and Norbert Michelisz set to start from row three. Gabriele Tarquini, Yvan Muller, Robert Dahlgren and Javier Villa were the four quickest men in Q1, in reverse order.
Those ten drivers moved onto Q2, where Menu set the benchmark early on. Teammate Muller left it until his final lap to post a decent time, moving up to second place but unable to do anything about Menu, who claimed his first pole for two years. He demoted Villa, who has shown impressive pace all weekend for Proteam, to third, with Coronel taking fourth place at the end of the session.
Local start Michelisz will start fifth, with Dahlgren sixth in the Polestar Volvo C30 which has showed competitively all weekend so far around the twisty Hungaroring. Monteiro was seventh, ahead of Poulsen, Tarquini and Bennani, who again wound up as the slowest of the top ten.