*Frenchman scores third WTCR DHL top spot of 2019 in Cyan Racing Lynk & Co *Hyundai-powered Michelisz scores vital points on the #RoadToMalaysia *Priaulx revives Macau memories with third on track where he won first world crown *Frustration for WTCR / OSCARO title chaser Guerrieri, Jim Ka To is top wildcard
FIA WTCR Race of Macau: First Qualifying report*
WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO 2019
Rounds 25, 26 and 27 of 30, Circuito da Guia, 14-17 November
Yvan Muller snatched the DHL Pole Position for Race 1 at WTCR Race of Macau with a brilliant final lap in First Qualifying to knock WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO title rival Norbert Michelisz off the top spot.
The Cyan Racing Lynk & Co driver set a scintillating lap of 2m28.661s in his Lynk & Co 03 TCR, easily below Rob Huff’s 2018 WTCR / OSCARO lap record of 2m29.040s to push Michelisz off the DHL pole.
Michelisz had hit the top at Muller’s expense with five minutes of the session left to go with a time of 2m28.729s. But Muller had the benefit of a tow from team-mate and nephew Yann Ehrlacher and snatched back the advantage.
“It was an amazing session,” said the Frenchman. “Anything can happen at Macau. As a team we did a brilliant job. I have to thank my team-mates for the tow, particularly Andy [Priaulx] and Yann, and it was Yann who gave me the tow that made the difference.”
“My lap was quite good, but I missed a last run by a couple of seconds,” said Hungarian Michelisz. “The front row is still quite good and the race will be interesting, especially the start. I am among three blues…”
Priaulx ended up third fastest, just ahead of Team Mulsanne’s Kevin Ceccon in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR. Ehrlacher was fifth despite losing some track time with a broken wheelnut, and Thed Björk was next to ensure all four Lynk & Cos qualified in the top six.
Macau maestro Huff was seventh as he chases his 10th race win ono the 6.12-kilometre Circuito da Guia. Michelisz’s team-mate and 2018 WTCR / OSCARO title winner Gabriele Tarquini was next, ahead of SLR Volkswagen’s Benjamin Leuchter, who ended up as the top Macau rookie. PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona completed the top 10 in his CUPRA TCR.
Frédéric Vervisch and Nicky Catsburg were next, with #RoadToMalaysia points leader Esteban Guerrieri in a disappointing P13 in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR. The Argentine is set to start Second Qualifying with a fresh engine, which will result in a grid penalty for Race 1.
PWR Racing’s series newcomer Robert Dahlgren was P14 just ahead of Tiago Monteiro. KC Motorgroup’s Jim Ka To Honda was the fastest of the wildcard entries, his Civic Type R TCR ending up in P27.
The session was briefly interrupted by a red flag with 12 minutes to go when Mehdi Bennani crashed his Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
The #WTCR2019SUPERGRID are due to be back on track for Second Qualifying at 13h35 local time today (Friday). All cars run on Yokohama tyres as standard.
*First Qualifying results are provisional, subject to change