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D`Aste shines in qualifying.

Stefano D'Aste produced one of the strongest qualifying performances of the season from an Independent runner to secure the seventh quickest time ahead of the first World Touring Car Championship event on Japanese soil.

The Proteam Motorsport driver hadn't found the going easy during testing and practice at the Okayama circuit but with his car sorted by the Italian team, was on the pace when the 30 minute qualifying session kicked off.

Initially it looked like Japanese racer Takayuki Aoki was going to secure the class pole, but D'Aste produced a stunning lap of 1min 37.534secs to put him seventh on the grid – which becomes sixth following Gabriele Tarquini's grid penalty.

That was six places ahead of Proteam team-mate Sergio Hernandez, who jumped ahead of Aoki late in the session.

“The team did a great job today after the problems I suffered with my shock absorbers in the previous sessions,” D'Aste admitted. “I showed that we can be very quick once the problems are sorted out, but if we push too much then the tyres would be damaged.

“It is great to have qualified seventh. It must be one of the best Independents' qualifying positions ever.”


Related Pictures

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Stefano D`Aste - Proteam Motorsport BMW 320si [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Mehdi Bennani - Proteam Honda Civic [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Franz Engstler - Liqui Moly BMW 320si [credit: FIA WTCC]
Mehdi Bennani - Proteam Honda Civic [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Mehdi Bennani - Proteam Honda Civic [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller in Friday practice and qualifying on the Guia Circuit in downtown Macau ahead of the final round of the 2013 World Touring Car Championship. November 15, 2013. (Photo Credit: FIA WTCC Media)
Yvan Muller in Friday practice and qualifying on the Guia Circuit in downtown Macau ahead of the final round of the 2013 World Touring Car Championship. November 15, 2013. (Photo Credit: FIA WTCC Media)
Yvan Muller in Friday practice and qualifying on the Guia Circuit in downtown Macau ahead of the final round of the 2013 World Touring Car Championship. November 15, 2013. (Photo Credit: FIA WTCC Media)
Yvan Muller in Friday practice and qualifying on the Guia Circuit in downtown Macau ahead of the final round of the 2013 World Touring Car Championship. November 15, 2013. (Photo Credit: FIA WTCC Media)
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)
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]
Darryl O`Young - ROAL BMW 320 TC [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Charles Ng - Engstler BMW 320 TC [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Stefano D`Aste - PB Racing BMW 320 TC [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Stefano D`Aste - PB Racing BMW 320 TC [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]

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