Chevrolet made amends for their poor WTCC qualifying display one week ago in Slovakia with a lockout of the top three spots on the grid for the first of tomorrow's races in Hungary.
All three of the factory Cruzes were outside of the top five in qualifying at the Slovakiaring but this time they were again the class of the field. Points leader Yvan Muller claimed pole, 0.267 seconds ahead of Rob Huff, the Brit fresh from his first win of the season in Race 2 in Slovakia. Alain Menu posted the third fastest time around the Hungaroring circuit, just under half a second adrift of pole.
Gabriele Tarquini was the best of the rest in his Lukoil SEAT in fourth, after recording the fastest time of the two morning practice sessions.
Mehdi Bennani was the surprise of the session, posting his best ever qualifying result in fifth and pole in the Yokohama Trophy battle. He will start one place higher than fellow BMW driver and local hero Norbert Michelisz, who couldn't repeat his pole position heroics of one week ago.
Tiago Monteiro took seventh his Sunred-powered Leon, ahead of the similar but factory unit-powered models of Darryl O'Young and Pepe Oriola. Franz Engstler rounded out the top ten, claiming pole for Sunday's second race.
Brits Alex MacDowall and James Nash also narrowly made it through into Q2 and will line up 11th and 12th on the grid for both races. It was a good result for TCF blogger MacDowall as he chases a return to the sharp end after a difficult few race weekends in the bamboo engineering Chevrolet Cruze, while it was a particularly good effort from Nash with the two Team Aon Ford Focuses having struggled badly in free practice, even propping up the timesheets in FP2.
Alberto Cerqui had missed out on a place in Q2 to Nash by just 0.004s, but still easily outqualified his ROAL Motorsport teammate Tom Coronel, who languished down in 19th place. Worse was to come though when both ROAL drivers had their laptimes disallowed by the stewards after the team plugged laptops in during parc ferme conditions after the end of Q1, meaning they will start from the back row of the grid for both races.
Charles Ng therefore inherits 13th from Cerqui, ahead of fellow BMW driver Stefano D'Aste who has a lot of work to do if is to continue his run of scoring a top five finish overall at every round so far this season.
James Thompson and Lada will start from 15th on their return to the championship, after impressing all day with their pace with the new Granta Sport model. Thompson could have qualified even better had he not stopped out on circuit after just his first flying lap.
Gabor Weber was 17th fastest at his home circuit, while Aleksei Dudukalo could only manage the 18th best time in his Lukoil SEAT after having qualified on the front row in Slovakia. Behind Coronel, Pasquale di Sabatino, a struggling Tom Chilton and Special Tuning Racing's Tom Boardman rounded out the times.