Crash.Net WTCC News
Macau - Qualifying quotes
21 November 2009
Rob Huff, Chevrolet:
I am very, very happy for this pole position. The car has been perfect since it came out of the container from Japan and feels really good. I was the first one to take the track at the restart of Q2 and eventually that paid off, as I could have at least one clear lap. I came to Macau with two objectives: to get the pole and win one race, so half of the mission is accomplished and I am now looking forward to finish the job on Sunday!
Andy Priaulx, BMW Team UK:
I am happy to be where I am as I struggled a lot yesterday and in free practice this morning. My goal is to do everything I can on Sunday to help BMW and Augusto win the championships. I have no idea what will happen, but I also hope to be challenging Rob for the lead.
Augusto Farfus, BMW Team Germany:
This qualifying was pure chaos. In the first phase the SEATs were really strong, but the accidents turned everything upside down in Q2. I'm happy with P3. But I hope that SEAT manages to repair the cars of Gabriele Tarquini and Yvan Muller, as the title should be decided in a fair competition on Sunday.
Tiago Monteiro, SEAT:
Jordi Gene and I were a threat to the BMW guys and Andy Priaulx ruined two of my flying laps at the end of the session; he slowed down where it was impossible to overtake. Then, when I could not carry enough speed he did a fast lap that allowed him to get past me on the starting grid. It is a deplorable attitude, especially in a world championship. It must be said in our defence that we at SEAT Sport always honour a team strategy that does not hamper our rivals. The rest of the qualifying was a bit crazy. It ended up in the night after the incident involving Gabriele Tarquini and Yvan Muller and above all I hope they'll be fully fit for the race on Sunday. It will be an important fight for SEAT Sport and I am focused and motivated to help the team keep its two world titles.
Gabriele Tarquini, SEAT:
Physically I feel a bit stiff but fortunately we have had one day to recover so I hope that tomorrow I wake up a little bit better than now. I was optimistic for another pole but ended up in the hospital so you know never know. I couldn't have avoided the accident. It was the track conditions and Yvan stopped just after the cloud of cement dust and I couldn't avoid him. I was on full throttle and hit him at 130kph. The car was destroyed so I thought it was impossible to make the races but the mechanics said not to worry and they repaired it.
Yvan Muller, SEAT:
I am able to race, I feel well but for some muscular pains. I fold but I don't break. There was doubt about my car but the team did a fantastic job. It was a lot of hours of work but they did it. I'm a bit disappointed because my lap time before the crash was fast but probably too fast! Macau is impossible to predict so I don't like to guess what might happen tomorrow. I don't like to gamble!
Alain Menu, Chevrolet:
Today was really a very difficult qualifying session. Basically, I could only do one proper timed lap in Q1, my very first one, and that was enough to be in the top ten. The rest of Q1, I was blocked by other cars or incidents. In Q2, I was following Yvan Muller and Tarquini on the first timed lap, but Yvan lost his car at turn 14, because there was some oil left from a previous crash, and hit the barrier. Tarquini could not avoid him and I had nowhere to go, so it ended up in a multiple accident. Unfortunately, Q2 ended there for the three of us.
Nicola Larini, Chevrolet:
My Q1 session was completely spoiled, as I found yellow flags on both my attempts with new tyres. It's a pity to be left out of Q2 in the last race of the season, while I made it almost every time this year, but today was really a mess on the track. I will try to make the best out of my starting position, on a circuit like that you never know and maybe there is a card to play for race two.
Tom Coronel, SUNRED Engineering:
To have Porteiro my competitor behind me will be challenging. I qualified better than expected and better than last year when I was 18th. I'm 13th this year which is unlucky for me but I have had zero trouble, the car is fine and I am fine...for me we could race right now.
James Thompson, LADA:
I want to thank the medical staff, because they were very efficient and professional. And I also wish to thank Stefano D'Aste, who stayed with me all the time. I appreciated it a lot especially because after the crash I momentarily lost my sight. Having Stefano with me when I was transported to the hospital was very reassuring.
Mark Busfield, Chevrolet team manager:
Once again a day of mixed emotions. Rob on pole is a fantastic start to Chevrolet's weekend, while both Alain and Nicola were victims of others on track activity and incidents, as they should normally be up with Rob. The team will have to give Alain's car a new front end before Sunday as it took a heavy knock with the Q2 accident that happened in front of him. The team worked well today to ensure we have the pace to give us a pole and to try and get Alain's car back on track to set a time in Q2.
Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director:
As expected today's qualifying turned out to be a gamble with loads of yellow flags, red flags and accidents. I hope none of the drivers involved is seriously injured. From our teams Augusto, Andy and Jorg managed to make it into the second part of qualifying. We are satisfied with second and third. Jorg finished sixth after he was caught in traffic, but this still is a good starting point as conditions for Sunday's races are again unpredictable.
Benoit Bagur, SEAT Sport technical director:
Gabriele's car was not so bad. It was a head-on impact and we are used to it. On the other hand, Yvan's car had suffered more substantial damage, especially at the rear. We had to take out the roll cage to repair the chassis. But in the end both cars are like new now.