Chilton Defeats Muller To Claim Maiden WTCC Pole At Sonoma

Tom Chilton - Photo Credit: FIA WTCC
Tom Chilton - Photo Credit: FIA WTCC

Tom Chilton bettered team-mate Yvan Muller to claim his first pole position in the World Touring Car Championship at Sonoma in the United States.

Chilton managed to go 0.125 seconds faster than the soon-to-be four-time world champion on his final lap in the Q2 session.

“It’s not easy beating Yvan – I think everyone knows that he’ll be four-times World Champion this year – but it’s fantastic to get my first pole position in World Touring Cars,” said Chilton. “I really love this track. It was quite a scary lap, I could have come off at least three times but I just hung it all together and it was very enjoyable to drive – a great car.

“I was a little worried going into Q2 because it didn’t feel as though my steering lock was quite straight. I’d clearly done something when I spun at the end of Q1 and I was worried that I’d flat-spotted all four tyres. I’m just really happy that the car didn’t hit the wall because it was quite close. You just come off-line here by a couple of inches and you run wide really easily.”

Behind the RML Chevrolet duo, Tiago Monteiro qualified in third place for Honda ahead of another three Chevrolets – those of Tuenti‘s Pepe Oriola and the Bamboo pairing of Alex MacDowall and James Nash.

Norbert Michelisz went seventh fastest in his Zengo Honda, but will start from the back of the grid for race one as a penalty for changing his engine. Rob Huff was eighth in his Munnich SEAT with the top ten completed by Michel Nykjaer and Gabriele Tarquini.