Muller Beats Chevrolet Teammates To Pole In Brazil

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Yvan Muller - Photo Credit: WTCC Media

World Touring Car Championship points leader Yvan Muller has claimed pole position for the Race of Brazil at Curitiba ahead of his Chevrolet teammates Alain Menu and Rob Huff.

The American marque, which announced its impending departure from the series over the summer break, has dominated the weekend thus far and the battle for top spot in qualifying was contested between the team's three drivers.

On their first runs in the ten minute Q2 shootout, Muller pipped Menu by 0.01 seconds. The Frenchman then improved on his second run from a 1m22.512s to a 1m22.289s to seal pole.

Menu also improved on his second attempt, but ultimately fell 0.155s shy.

Huff was two tenths adrift of his teammates on his first run and although he also improved, he was three tenths off Muller's time and had to settle for third.

A late stand-in at bamboo engineering this weekend, Michel Nykjaer put his Chevrolet fourth and within half a second of Muller. Gabriele Tarquini prevented a Chevrolet 1-2-3-4-5 by putting his Lukoil SEAT ahead of the second bamboo car of Curitiba-first-timer Alex MacDowall.

Darryl O'Young was a strong seventh in his Special Tuning Racing SEAT, ahead of the Sunred-powered car of Tiago Monteiro. BMW drivers Tom Coronel and Norbert Michelisz were ninth and tenth, taking the front row for the second race.

Tarquini's teammate Aleksei Dudukalo and BMW man Mehdi Bennani also made it into Q2 and will line up on the sixth row for both races.

Alberto Cerqui was the first of those disposed of at the end of Q1 and will start both races 13th, alongside Pepe Oriola who has struggled for pace from his SEAT all weekend.

Charles Ng survived a slide off-track to take 15th, two places ahead of his team boss Franz Engstler. Tom Boardman was sandwiched by the two German BMWs.

Recently-crowned European champion Fernando Monje was 18th, ahead of the Team Aon pair of James Nash and Tom Chilton who were both two seconds off the pace.

Stefano D'Aste struggled badly with at least two off-track moments in his BMW and will start last.

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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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