– History repeats as RML-Cruze storms into Sonoma pole
– Tom Chilton steals the honours on last gasp flyer
– Yvan Muller starts from P2, securing RML front-row lock out
– All six RML-built Cruzes continue to dominate the top ten

SONOMA [USA] – Saturday 7 September 2013: Tom Chilton has claimed his maiden WTCC pole position in today’s FIA World Touring Car Championship session in a storming last gasp flyer.

Just seconds before the chequered flag fell, Muller had looked set to claim his 7th pole of the year having topped the timesheets throughout, but as Q2 neared conclusion, team-mate Chilton was well on the pace. Emerging quickest through the speed traps, the young Brit pulled ahead to secure his pole position grid slot by a dominant 0.125s.

Securing an all RML-front row lockout, Yvan Muller will start alongside in P2, with Monteiro, Oriola, MacDowall, Nash, Michelisz, Huff, Nykjaer and Tarquini rounding out the top ten.

Tom Chilton: “That’s just the perfect start to my weekend! I started P7 on my first run, was upto P5 on my second and then was something like P3 so I knew the pace was there, I just needed to get the lap together. I really had to work for that, in this heat and with a lot of dirt and dust on the track, it wasn’t easy. All weekend I have felt like I had something here – that maybe I had the chance to edge ahead but to get it right in qualifying, where every single corner is difficult, that’s just awesome! My heart is pounding!”

Yvan Muller: “Congratulations to Tom – that was a great performance by him and unfortunately I couldn’t respond. Of course I’m disappointed not to make a 6th pole in a row but at least it remains in the team. It’s been a pretty challenging session out there, with the heat and the track being quite dusty where a few have gone off, it’s not the easiest track on which to get the perfect lap. But we can be pleased with this performance because we hadn’t expected to be as competitive due to the very heavy handicap in ballast compared to the others. I look forward to seeing what we can achieve tomorrow but whilst I’m hopeful of some good points, I’m a cautious of tyre wear over the race distance. Whatever happens I’m sure it will be an interesting race!”

Ron Hartvelt, WTCC Project Supervisor: “Huge congratulations to Tom on his first WTCC pole position – that’s an important milestone for him and will no doubt give a huge boost going into tomorrow as well as the rest of the season. Sonoma provides some real challenges – not just the high temperatures here, but it’s also quite green and dusty as we saw earlier in the session with a few caught out on that, Tom included. But the team have, as always, done a great job and we can all be tremendously proud of another RML 1-2. Great work also from our customer teams with Pepe, Alex, James and Michel all within the top ten. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow but I have every confidence in both Tom and Yvan to deliver podium results.”

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Tom Chilton RML Chevrolet 1m45.583s
2. Yvan Muller RML Chevrolet 1m45.708s +0.125s
3. Tiago Monteiro Honda 1m46.240s +0.657s
4. Pepe Oriola Tuenti Chevrolet 1m46.266s +0.683s
5. Alex MacDowall Bamboo Chevrolet 1m46.411s +0.828s
6. James Nash Bamboo Chevrolet 1m46.565s +0.982s
7. Norbert Michelisz Zengo Honda 1m46.648s +1.065s
8. Rob Huff Munnich SEAT 1m46.659s +1.076s
9. Michel Nykjaer Nika Chevrolet 1m46.668s +1.085s
10. Gabriele Tarquini Honda 1m46.865s +1.282s
11. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW 1m46.919s +1.336s
12. Marc Basseng Munnich SEAT 1m47.711s +2.128s
13. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW 1m47.038s Q1
14. Fredy Barth Wiechers BMW 1m47.078s Q1
15. Darryl O’Young ROAL BMW 1m47.126s Q1
16. Hugo Valente Campos SEAT 1m47.145s Q1
17. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 1m47.277s Q1
18. James Thompson Lada 1m47.583s Q1
19. Stefano D’Aste PB BMW 1m47.637s Q1
20. Charles Ng Engstler BMW 1m47.892s Q1
21. Fernando Monje Campos SEAT 1m48.025s Q1
22. Mikhail Kozlovskiy Lada 1m48.070s Q1
23. Rene Munnich Munnich SEAT 1m48.279s Q1
24. Tom Boardman STR SEAT 1m48.530s Q1

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