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Zanardi thrilled with pole.

Alex Zanardi admitted his delight at securing his maiden pole position in the World Touring Car Championship at Brno, claiming that a return to the top of the qualifying times for the first time in more than ten years was a special feeling.

The popular Italian, who has won twice in the series in the past for the ROAL Motorsport-run BMW Team Italy-Spain outfit, broke the qualifying lap record by more than a second during the session as he left it late to snatch top spot from the Chevrolet of Alain Menu.

"My last pole position in an International qualifying dated back to 1997,” he said. “It has really been a very long time since!

“The result of today, from a certain viewpoint, rounds the circle after the accident of 2001 and, honestly, I thought I would have never been able to keep everyone behind me again on the single lap. In the last years I won two WTCC races, but today's pole position has a special taste and, despite the fact that it does not count for the classification, believe me, it made me happier than a victory.

“I will have a great chance in the race: the team performed as usual a huge work and the car is really fast even with worn tyres. Keep your fingers crossed!"

To cap a fine session for the team, Felix Porteiro put the sister car on the second row of the grid with the third fastest time.

"To be among the first three in qualifying is always a good satisfaction,” he said. “The car was really competitive and, possibly, it is even faster with wore tyres. I am very optimistic for the races. The championship is still open and this might be the chance to place myself within the battle for the title."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Alex Zanardi - BMW Team Italy-Spain BMW 320si [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Franz Engstler - Liqui Moly BMW 320si [credit: FIA WTCC]
Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC) wins race 2 at Suzuka, Japan on Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Credit: WTCC Media)
Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC) wins race 2 at Suzuka, Japan on Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Credit: WTCC Media)
General Honda Civic WTCC team and paddock atmosphere in Japan - Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team`s Tiago Monteiro in action in race 1 in Japan - Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team`s Tiago Monteiro on the starting grid for race 1 in Japan - Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team Tiago Monteiro Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team`s Gabriele Tarquini Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team driver Takuya Izawa Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team`s Tiago Monteiro at Suzuka, Japan. Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Tom Coronel - ROAL BMW 320 TC [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Mehdi Bennani - Proteam BMW 320 TC [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Jose Maria Lopez - Wiechers Sport, BMW 320 TC [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
WTCC race of Austria at the Salzburgring. Honda Racing hospitality paddock unit (Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team) Photo Credit: Honda Europe/David Noels
WTCC race of Austria at the Salzburgring. Tiago Monteiro (Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team) Photo Credit: Honda Europe/David Noels
WTCC race of Austria at the Salzburgring. Gabriele Tarquini (Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team) Photo Credit: Honda Europe/David Noels
WTCC race of Austria at the Salzburgring. Tiago Monteiro (Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team) Photo Credit: Honda Europe/David Noels

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rich ard

June 15, 2008 12:10 PM

probably no-one will read this article but it is great that alex got pole. eurosport ignored him for the entire programme, despite his name appearing near top of time sheets. he shows that a disability is no bar to a sporting career. it is admitedly easier for him in qualifying as it seems that he gets involved in a few incidents when racing. not his fault but rather the fault of others who take no account of the fact that his expected reactions would be slightly different due to hand controls. so go alex, go. get out in front and stay there. also credit to BMW for adapting a car for him and giving him the opportunity to keep racing.



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