Yvan Muller emerged as the fastest in the Qualifying of his home country’s WTCR event at Pau-Arnos. The French veteran comfortably made the cut at the end of Q1 and Q2, before setting the fastest lap in Q3 ahead of his countryman Jean-Karl Vernay who had been fastest in Q2.
The reigning champion and current leader Yann Ehrlacher, topped Q1 and qualified fifth in Q3, extending by five points his advantage in the standings over Esteban Guerrieri who will line up alongside him on the grid, in sixth position.
Gilles Magnus went off at the beginning of Q1, causing a red flag. When the session resumed, Vernay posted a provisional fastest lap of 1:19.274, but Guerrieri (1:18.086) and Vernay (1:18.027) demoted him to third. As the session progressed, Norbert Michelisz jumped to the top with a lap of 1:18.889, with Gabriele Tarquini advancing to third with 1:19.067.
Lynk & Co drivers improved on their last lap: Muller, Thed Björk and Santiago Urrutia were all able to make the cut for Q2, while Ehrlacher set the fastest lap of 1:18.820 that was worth five precious points for the standings.
Vernay opened Q2 with a provisional fastest lap of 1:18.836, with Ehrlacher in second place (1:18.919). Michelisz’s second run resulted in a new provisional fastest lap of 1:18.810 that was immediately beaten by Vernay’s 1:18.777.
Just like in Q1, the Lynk & Co drivers improved together with Ehrlacher (1:18.827), Muller (1:18.923) and Urrutia (1:18.935) ranking third, fourth and fifth, while Guerrieri (1:19.093) was the first out of Q3. Frédéric Vervisch qualified in tenth position and won the pole for tomorrow Race 1.
Pau-Arnos – Qualifying
1:18.973 Yvan Muller (Cyan Racing, Lynk & Co 03)
1:19.206 Jean-Karl Vernay (Team Engstler, Hyundai Elantra N)
1:19.235 Norbert Michelisz (BRC Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N)
1:20.093 Santiago Urrutia (Cyan Performance, Lynk & Co 03)
1:20.333 Yann Ehrlacher (Cyan Racing, Lynk & Co 03)
1. Y. Ehrlacher 141; 2. E. Guerrieri 116; 3. M. Azcona 110