Fresh from securing the 2013 title last time out, Yvan Muller picked up his seventh pole position of the season in qualifying for the penultimate rounds of the World Touring Car Championship in Shanghai.
The RML driver set the pace in both stages of the session to earn his place at the head of the field, posting a time of 1min 53.486secs on his only run in Q2 to break the lap record and take top spot ahead of team-mate Tom Chilton – who was some four-tenths of a second behind.
No-one else was able to break the 1min 54secs barrier, with Tuenti Racing's Pepe Oriola the closest challenger in third ahead of a weekend where he seeks to end his recent run of no-scores. Fellow Chevrolet men James Nash, Alex MacDowall and Rickard Rydell rounded out an all-Cruze top six – the latter returning to the series in a one-off drive with Nika Racing.
Norbert Michelisz was 'best of the rest' in his Zengo Honda ahead of the SEAT of Rob Huff, with factory Honda duo Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro rounded out the top ten.
Franz Engstler was the only BMW driver to make it through to Q2 – marking the first time this season he had achieved the feat – and was eleventh, with Thed Bjork set to line up twelfth.
As a guest entry running to national homologation, Bjork was unable to take part in Q2 despite setting the seventh fastest time in Q1, but a five-place grid penalty for being underweight drops him down to 17th.
Tom Coronel, who just missed out on earning a place in Q2, James Thompson, Marc Basseng, Hugo Valente and Charles Ng are the five drivers to benefit from the penalty to move up a place on the grid.
Yukinori Tanaguchi was fastest of the drivers in the Asia Trophy in 25th place, one spot ahead of the BMW of series regular Stefano D'Aste, the Italian being hampered by a broken driveshaft in Q1.
Of the 31 drivers entered, 30 were able to secure their places on the grid with Jerónimo Badaraco sitting out th session due to a gearbox issue on his Chevrolet Cruze.
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