Muller Halts Lopez’s WTCC Pole Run in Hungaroring Qualifying

Yvan Muller

Yvan Muller topped qualifying at the third round of the World Touring Car Championship at the Hungaroring as Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez failed to take a sixth consecutive pole.

As the quickest driver in Q2, Lopez was the last driver to run in the single-lap pole shootout but a scrappy effort left him seven tenths of a second short of Muller, who scored his first pole since Spa last June.

All four factory-entered Citroens made it through to Q3, but it was the one non-C-Elysee driver Hugo Valente who gave fellow Frenchman Muller the toughest run for his money and was second quickest, 0.233s down.

Campos Chevrolet driver Valente must take a five-place grid penalty in race one, however, after being judged to have not respected yellow flags in first practice.

Lopez will therefore move up onto the front row alongside Muller, with row two shared by Sebastien Loeb and Ma Qing Hua. Chinese driver Ma was due to be the first to run, but got to the end of the pitlane too late to be allowed to start his lap.

Honda‘s Tiago Monteiro and Lada racer Rob Huff were denied places in Q3 by late laps and were left sixth and seventh fastest respectively ahead of ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet duo Tom Coronel and Tom Chilton.

Norbert Michelisz was 10th, putting the local hero on the reverse grid pole position for race two.

Privateer Citroen driver Mehdi Bennani was left down in 11th, with Munnich Chevrolet driver Stefano D’Aste 12th.

John Filippi, James Thompson, Gregoire Demoustier and Mikhail Kozlovskiy were eliminated in Q1 together with Gabriele Tarquini, who crashed his Honda on a wet kerb exiting Turn 3.