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Muller on pole in Curitiba
6 March 2010
Former champion Yvan Muller took pole position for the opening round of the 2010 World Touring Car Championship in Curitiba today.
In a closely fought session the top seven cars ended within 0.2 seconds of each other, Muller topping the times on a 1 minute 23.725 seconds.
“My colour has changed from last year but I'm always pleased to be on pole,” Muller reflected. “It's a good way to start the season and good for building relations with my new team. I am happy for them as it shows all the hard work over the winter has paid off as the Chevrolets are placed first, third and fourth on the grid.”
Chevrolet dominated the session with Alain Menu and Rob Huff third and fourth respectively. Only Jordi Gené in his SEAT León TDI managed to split the Chevys jumping to second in the dying seconds.
“I'm very pleased as it has been a big effort from the team and great having the support of SEAT,” said Jordi. “The level of the championship is as high as ever so it's going to be difficult to stay on top.”
Reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini meanwhile was fifth ahead BMW duo Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus, a disappointing result as the BMW 320si's had set the pace for much of the weekend.
Danish racer Michel Nykjær was next up and will start race one on Sunday as the best of the rookies, while Tom Coronel and Norbert Michelisz rounded out the top ten.
“Coming here as a newcomer and also with it being my first time at the track I'm pleased to get through to Q2,” said Nykjær. “I'm very happy and the team are pleased as well.”
Further down the order, Tiago Monterio will line-up in eleventh, having just failed to make it into Q2, while Stefano D'Aste was the fastest independent and will start 13th.
“If you had asked me two days ago if I would be here I would have said no as we've had lots of problems,” D'Aste noted. “BMW Motorsport have been a great help though and the team and my engineer made some last minute set-up changes that worked well.”
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