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Less than a week after he notched up victory on his World Touring Car Championship debut, Sebastien Loeb has taken a superb maiden pole position on home soil at Paul Ricard.

Proving his Marrakech win was no fluke, Loeb outpaced both team-mates Jose Maria Lopez and Yvan Muller to head up another Citroen 1-2-3 in a dominant session for the French manufacturer at its local track.

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Loeb's time of 1min 29.527secs was a comfortable tenth better than this Argentinian counterpart, with four-time WTCC champion Muller following up at the head of the second row.

Gabriele Tarquini heads up the best of the rest in fourth place, the Italian hoping to get on the board for Honda this weekend after an accident forced him to sit out the curtain raiser.

Having taken the fight to the Citroens in practice, Hugo Valente had to make do with being top Chevrolet representative in fifth position, ahead of Zengo Honda's Norbert Michelisz, ROAL Chevrolet's Tom Chilton and Campos Chevrolet's Dusan Borkovic.

Further back, LADA failed to get beyond the Q1 cut, with Rob Huff, James Thompson and Mikhail Kozlovskiy down in 13th, 14th and 15th, while John Filippi continued the strong theme for the French drivers by topping TC2, ahead of Franz Engstler and Pasquale di Sabatino.