Marrakesh WTCR: Vervisch beats Muller to pole

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Marrakesh WTCR: Vervisch beats Muller to pole
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Apr 7, 2019, 11:37 AM

Audi driver Frederic Vervisch beat the new Lynk & Co 03 of Yvan Muller to a surprise pole position in Sunday's second World Touring Car Cup qualifying session in Marrakesh.

Vervisch topped the times in the second part of qualifying, then stayed on top in the pole position shootout segment to secure first on the grid for Sunday's third race of the weekend and his first WTCR pole.

The Comtoyou driver chose to run second in the Q3 order by dint of leading the times in Q2 - as part of new WTCR qualifying rules for 2019 - and recorded a 1m24.721s lap of the Moulay El Hassan circuit.

That time was 0.131 seconds slower than the Belgian had managed in the second part of qualifying, but it was still enough to hand him pole by more than three tenths of a second.

Muller was the first man behind Vervisch in the order to attempt to beat that lap, but could not improve on any of the benchmark sector times and ended up setting a 1m25.091s.

Teammate Thed Bjork was a further tenth behind in the second Cyan Lynk & Co 03 and will start race three from third, while Tiago Monteiro - who ran last in the shootout - was fourth in the lead Honda Civic Type R.

In only his second WTCR qualifying session, Mikel Azcona was the only Cupra driver to progress from the opening segment and was then second fastest in Q2, before ending up slowest in the shootout.

He nevertheless earned a bonus point for qualifying fifth, to add to the point he secured in Saturday's opening race after being demoted from a ninth-place finish for hitting Norbert Michelisz.

Yann Ehrlacher was fastest of those who missed out on a spot in Q2, falling 0.064s short of his uncle Yvan Muller's time in his Lynk & Co 03 and ending up sixth.

Saturday race winner Esteban Guerrieri could not repeat his pole position form of Saturday and was seventh, leaping ahead of Jean-Karl Vernay's WRT Audi RS3 LMS to take seventh with his final lap after reporting damage to his splitter in Q2.

Neither of the BRC Racing Hyundai i30 Ns that made Q2 were able to challenge for a place in the pole position shootout, but Nicky Catsburg will start the reversed-grid race from pole after qualifying 10th.

He will share the front row for that race with reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini, who was 0.082s faster than his Dutch teammate in the second part of qualifying.

Nestor Girolami (Munnich Motorsport Honda) and the second WRT Audi of Gordon Shedden will start both races 11th and 12th.

A number of big names fell at the first hurdle in a particularly frantic first part of qualifying, in which 24 cars were covered by one second.

Ma Qing Hua was the first of those below the cut, missing out on a place in Q2 by 0.037 seconds.

While Tarquini and Catsburg made the second part of qualifying, fellow BRC drivers Augusto Farfus and Michelisz both missed out.

Andy Priaulx was another surprise casualty in the fourth Cyan Lynk & Co, a day after he started then finished his first World Touring Car race since 2010 in fifth.

The three-time world champion was 17th, two place ahead of compatriot Rob Huff - who was again fastest of the Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Golf GTIs.

Huff's teammates Mehdi Bennani, Johan Kristoffersson and Benajmin Leuchter will start both of Sunday's races 23rd, 24th and 25th respectively - ahead only of the Comtoyou Cupra of Aurelien Panis, who was unable to set a representative time in Q1.

Q3 results

Cla # Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 22 Belgium Frederic Vervisch Audi 3 1'24.721     126.244
2 100 France Yvan Muller Lynk & Co 3 1'25.091 0.370 0.370 125.696
3 11 Sweden Thed Björk Lynk & Co 3 1'25.224 0.503 0.133 125.499
4 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Honda 3 1'25.593 0.872 0.369 124.958
5 96 Spain Mikel Azcona Cupra 3 1'25.639 0.918 0.046 124.891

Q2 results

Cla # Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 22 Belgium Frederic Vervisch Audi 3 1'24.590     126.440
2 96 Spain Mikel Azcona Cupra 5 1'24.826 0.236 0.236 126.088
3 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Honda 3 1'24.833 0.243 0.007 126.078
4 11 Sweden Thed Björk Lynk & Co 6 1'24.834 0.244 0.001 126.076
5 100 France Yvan Muller Lynk & Co 7 1'24.855 0.265 0.021 126.045
6 68 France Yann Ehrlacher Lynk & Co 6 1'24.919 0.329 0.064 125.950
7 86 Argentina Esteban Guerrieri Honda 8 1'24.930 0.340 0.011 125.934
8 69 France Jean-Karl Vernay Audi 7 1'24.964 0.374 0.034 125.883
9 1 Italy Gabriele Tarquini Hyundai 7 1'24.997 0.407 0.033 125.835
10 88 Netherlands Nick Catsburg Hyundai 8 1'25.079 0.489 0.082 125.713
11 29 Argentina Nestor Girolami Honda 8 1'25.102 0.512 0.023 125.679
12 52 United Kingdom Gordon Shedden Audi 7 1'25.292 0.702 0.190 125.399

Q1 results

Cla # Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 11 Sweden Thed Björk Lynk & Co 14 1'24.820     126.097
2 96 Spain Mikel Azcona Cupra 10 1'24.857 0.037 0.037 126.042
3 69 France Jean-Karl Vernay Audi 12 1'24.883 0.063 0.026 126.004
4 29 Argentina Nestor Girolami Honda 14 1'24.889 0.069 0.006 125.995
5 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Honda 13 1'24.972 0.152 0.083 125.872
6 68 France Yann Ehrlacher Lynk & Co 12 1'25.049 0.229 0.077 125.758
7 86 Argentina Esteban Guerrieri Honda 9 1'25.057 0.237 0.008 125.746
8 88 Netherlands Nick Catsburg Hyundai 12 1'25.060 0.240 0.003 125.741
9 100 France Yvan Muller Lynk & Co 11 1'25.079 0.259 0.019 125.713
10 52 United Kingdom Gordon Shedden Audi 16 1'25.108 0.288 0.029 125.670
11 22 Belgium Frederic Vervisch Audi 10 1'25.151 0.331 0.043 125.607
12 1 Italy Gabriele Tarquini Hyundai 14 1'25.198 0.378 0.047 125.538
13 55 China Ma Qing Hua Alfa Romeo 15 1'25.234 0.414 0.036 125.485
14 8 Brazil Augusto Farfus Hyundai 14 1'25.270 0.450 0.036 125.432
15 5 Hungary Norbert Michelisz Hyundai 14 1'25.328 0.508 0.058 125.346
16 50 Netherlands Tom Coronel Cupra 12 1'25.357 0.537 0.029 125.304
17 111 Guernsey Andy Priaulx Lynk & Co 15 1'25.397 0.577 0.040 125.245
18 37 Sweden Daniel Haglof Cupra 11 1'25.438 0.618 0.041 125.185
19 12 United Kingdom Rob Huff Volkswagen 12 1'25.463 0.643 0.025 125.148
20 31 Italy Kevin Ceccon Alfa Romeo 15 1'25.475 0.655 0.012 125.131
21 10 Netherlands Niels Langeveld Audi 11 1'25.486 0.666 0.011 125.115
22 9 Hungary Attila Tassi Honda 15 1'25.588 0.768 0.102 124.966
23 25 Morocco Mehdi Bennani Volkswagen 14 1'25.679 0.859 0.091 124.833
24 14 Sweden Johan Kristoffersson Volkswagen 13 1'25.693 0.873 0.014 124.812
25 33 Germany Benjamin Leuchter Volkswagen 14 1'26.111 1.291 0.418 124.207
26 21 France Aurelien Panis Cupra 10 1'28.211 3.391 2.100 121.250

 

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About this article

Series WTCR
Event Marrakesh
Sub-event Q2
Drivers Yvan Muller , Frederic Vervisch
Author Jack Cozens
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