Gabriele Tarquini took Pole for the first of tomorrow’s WTCC races at Imola. The Italian went two tenths quicker than team-mate Yvan Muller to seal the all important first position, in front of his home crowd.
“It is very nice for me to start from pole position for my home race,” said Tarquini. “From memory this is my first home pole position – but then again my memory is not great!”
“Pole doesn't give you extra points but it does give you a chance to lead and avoid incidents. We don't need to win every race but like we showed in Oschersleben we need to score at every race.”
SEAT locked out the top 3 with Swede Rickard Rydell less than two tenths back, and with Chevy driver Rob Huff 4th and the fourth works SEAT of Tiago Monteiro in 5th. This meant the lead BMW of Augusto Farfus had to settle for 6th, and crucially several positions behing his championship rivals.
Alain Menu never got the chance to qualify higher than 10th place, after his Chevrolet Cruze started spewing oil at the end of Q1.
It was a terrible qualifying session for BMW however, as Andy Priaulx was the only other works car to make it into the Top 10, with the remaining 3 BMWs of Sergio Hernandez, Jorg Muller and Alex Zanardi qualifying 11th, 12th and 13th respectively.
Another Italian, Stefano D’Aste took the Independents Pole, ahead of Felix Porteiro and Tom Coronel, but was not confident on his chances of taking victory tomorrow.
“To be honest I thought Tom (Coronel) or one of the other front wheel drive cars would be on pole. Tomorrow rain is forecast which would make things even more tricky for the BMW cars.”
Pos Driver Car Q1 Q2 1. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT 1m56.139s 1m55.530s 2. Yvan Muller SEAT 1m55.840s 1m55.726s 3. Rickard Rydell SEAT 1m55.847s 1m55.891s 4. Rob Huff Chevrolet 1m56.610s 1m56.044s 5. Tiago Monteiro SEAT 1m56.189s 1m56.252s 6. Augusto Farfus BMW 1m56.393s 1m56.257s 7. Andy Priaulx BMW 1m56.873s 1m56.286s 8. Jordi Gene SEAT 1m56.392s 1m56.418s 9. Nicola Larini Chevrolet 1m56.704s 1m56.522s 10. Alain Menu Chevrolet 1m56.972s no time 11. Sergio Hernandez BMW 1m57.026s 12. Jorg Muller BMW 1m57.121s 13. Alex Zanardi BMW 1m57.208s 14. Stefano D'Aste BMW 1m57.306s 15. James Thompson Lada 1m57.331s 16. Felix Porteiro BMW 1m57.419s 17. Tom Coronel SEAT 1m57.472s 18. Mehdi Bennani SEAT 1m57.787s 19. Kristian Poulsen BMW 1m57.962s 20. Franz Engstler BMW 1m58.029s 21. Tom Boardman SEAT 1m58.170s 22. Jaap van Lagen Lada 1m58.388s 23. Kirill Ladygin Lada 1m58.990s 24. Andrea Larini SEAT 1m59.056s 25. Fabio Fabiani BMW 2m02.619s