Once again, as the second day of the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) at Ningbo got underway, the Hyundai cohort appeared to be in the best form. Initially, Yvan Muller and Norbert Michelisz led the time sheets, but were under pressure from the impressive Honda of Esteban Guerrieri.
While the Comtoyou Racing Audi team were having a fantastic weekend thus far, the Team WRT-prepared Audis simply were not. Jean-Karl Vernay‘s recent run of misery in the WTCR continued as he failed to make it into the top twelve, while team-mate Gordon Shedden remained mired towards the back of the grid.
Denis Dupont continued to impress and ended up being the top Audi driver, sixth ahead of Frederic Vervisch in seventh. The young Belgian therefore narrowly missed out on a place in the top five shoot-out, but still managed to record his best qualifying result ever in WTCR.
As for the top five, Hyundai were well represented in the shoot-out. And indeed, it would be the South Korean marque who would come out on top. Swedish stalwart Thed Bjork powered through to his sixth pole position of the season, just ahead of championship rival Norbert Michelisz. Esteban Guerrieri broke the Hyundai train by taking third in his Honda, while Gabriele Tarquini and Rob Huff completed the quintet.
As stated, Dupont and Vervisch would line up in sixth and seventh, with Yann Ehrlacher in eighth. The fifth row of the grid would be made up of Yvan Muller and Mehdi Bennani, handing them a front-row start for the reversed-grid Race Two.