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Farfus secures pole at Okayama

1 January 1901

Having been the man to beat during testing and practice at Okayama, Augusto Farfus secured pole position for the penultimate rounds of the World Touring Car Championship in Japan.

The Brazilian posted a quickest time of 1min 37.040secs during the half-hour long session which saw him end up two-tenths of a second clear of BMW Team Germany team-mate Jorg Muller. Farfus had led the way from the early stages of qualifying and wasn't troubled as BMW clinched a rare lock-out of the front row against the diesel SEATs.

Gabriele Tarquini, currently second in the standings behind team-mate Yvan Muller, was third quickest but will drop down to eighth place on the grid as a result of the five place grid penalty handed out for cutting the first chicane during the second race of the weekend at Monza last time out. His penalty means another SEAT man, former F1 racer Tiago Monteiro, will start from third alongside the Chevrolet of Alain Menu.

Rickard Rydell starts from fifth alongside the leading Independent runner after Stefano D'Aste posted a fine seventh quickest time in his Proteam Motorsport BMW. Rob Huff starts from seventh ahead of Tarquini, while Felix Porteiro and points leader Muller round out the top ten.

Elsewhere, Andy Priaulx was eleventh, James Thompson 14th and Nicola Larini down in 19th place amongst the favoured runners, while in the Independents, Sergio Hernandez and Takayuki Aoki were D'Aste's closest challengers in twelfth and 15th overall. After a fine day which included being third quickest in the second free practice session, Aoki was the final driver within a second of the pole position time.

Qualifying itself was a somewhat incident free affair, with the only problem coming when Matthew Marsh suffered a spin into the gravel at the final turn in his Wiechers-Sport BMW, briefly bringing out the yellow flags.

For qualifying times, CLICK HERE.


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