– Yvan Muller banks 16th career pole & smashes 2012 record
– Chilton left frustrated, but vows to fight back
– Team happy with qualifying pace & eyes further success in Hungary
HUNGARORING [Budapest] – Saturday 4 May 2013: A jubilant Yvan Muller has stormed into pole position for tomorrow’s first of two races, brandishing his blistering lap as ‘the best of the year.’
The RML Cruzes looked to have serious pace during the morning’s free practice, but the ever-present threat of the Hondas ensured pre-session bets on who would master the pole were hard to call. Muller would emerge as the victor for today, smashing his last year’s pole time by over two seconds.
For team-mate Tom Chilton, the session didn’t unfold as planned and the frustrated Briton will start from 6th on the grid.
Local hero Norbert Michelisz stunned his home support as he launched his privateer Honda onto the front row of the grid in the closing minutes, with works team-mates Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro behind. Tom Coronel will line up 5th beside Chilton.
Team celebrations and punched fists complete, Yvan Muller summarised: “That was probably my best lap of the year. I had to do my best to beat the Hondas – taking the maximum out of the car but also keeping it clean. Everybody in the team has, and always does, work so hard for this so this is definitely a great start to the weekend!’
Tom Chilton: “Disappointed to be honest, because the pace is there and I thought we were good enough to be up on the front with Yvan. I was P2 on my quick lap but then Monteiro just edged ahead, demoting me to P3. But I was happy with my time because it was an improvement over my morning pace. Unfortunately the Hondas and Coronel then went back out for a second lap, when we didn’t, so they managed to punch ahead. I’m out of position against where I think we should be, but, on the plus side I am happy that I have new tyres for both races which I hope will play out favourably for me against my neighbours on the grid.”
1. Yvan Muller RML Chevrolet 1m53.426s
2. Norbert Michelisz Zengo Honda 1m53.806s + 0.380s
3. Gabriele Tarquini Honda 1m53.953s + 0.527s
4. Tiago Monteiro Honda 1m54.048s + 0.622s
5. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW 1m54.077s + 0.651s
6. Tom Chilton RML Chevrolet 1m54.181s + 0.755s
7. James Nash Bamboo Chevrolet 1m54.270s + 0.844s
8. Rob Huff Munnich SEAT 1m54.380s + 0.954s
9. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW 1m54.455s + 1.029s
10. Alex MacDowall Bamboo Chevrolet 1m54.533s + 1.107s
11. Michel Nykjaer Nika Chevrolet 1m54.972s + 1.546s
12. Fredy Barth Wiechers BMW 1m55.054s + 1.628s