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WTCR Zandvoort: Rob Huff takes pole position for race one

Rob Huff SLR Volkswagen WTCR Zandvoort 2018

Rob Huff claimed his first qualifying pole position of the World Touring Car Cup season at Zandvoort, edging Yann Ehrlacher and Gordon Shedden in a frenetic Sunday session.

Huff was one of the half hour session's early pacesetters in his Volkswagen Golf GTi, and returned to the head of the times after a mid-session stoppage - to retrieve Zsolt Szabo's Zengo Motorsport Cupra from the gravel at the Renaultbocht right-hander - with a 1m44.141s lap.

First practice pacesetter Ehrlacher was able to nose his Munnich Motorsport Honda Civic back ahead on his penultimate run, but Sebastien Loeb Racing driver Huff had more to come and reeled off a 1m43.945s to secure pole before sitting out the final minutes of the session.

Ehrlacher stayed out for another attempt but was unable to improve on his time and ended up 0.113 seconds back in second, ahead of three-time British Touring Car champion Shedden.

Audi driver Shedden produced comfortably his best qualifying performance since joining the WTCR world cup grid for 2018, and will head an all-WRT second row at the start of Sunday's race from team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay.

Benjamin Lessennes continued his impressive patch of form in his Boutsen Ginion Honda to grab fifth, qualifying less than four tenths off the pace, ahead of the leading Comtoyou Audi RS3 LMS of Nathanael Berthon.

A Peugeot 308TCR will start a WTCR race from inside the top 10 for the first time thanks to Aurelien Comte's 1m44.531s effort in his DG Sport machine, which was enough to give him seventh ahead of home favourite Tom Coronel.

Frederic Vervisch and Ehrlacher's team-mate Esteban Guerrieri rounded out the top 10.

After Hyundai appeared to struggle in Saturday's pair of qualifying sessions, Norbert Michelisz showed improved pace in his BRC Racing car and will start 14th - five places ahead of the next best i30 N, YMR's Thed Bjork.

James Thompson was the final driver to qualify within a second of Huff's time and will start 15th, ahead of the leading Alfa Romeo and Cupra representatives of Gianni Morbidelli and Pepe Oriola.

Wildcard entrants Michael Verhagen and Prince Bernhard van Oranje qualified 25th and 27th respectively in their Bas Koeten-run Audi RS3 LMSs.

Race one grid

1Rob HuffSebastien Loeb RacingVolkswagen1m43.945s10
2Yann EhrlacherMunnich MotorsportHonda0.113s12
3Gordon SheddenWRTAudi0.157s10
4Jean-Karl VernayWRTAudi0.307s13
5Benjamin LessennesBoutsen Ginion RacingHonda0.395s14
6Nathanael BerthonComtoyou RacingAudi0.543s12
7Aurelien ComteDG Sport CompetitionPeugeot0.586s10
8Tom CoronelBoutsen Ginion RacingHonda0.651s12
9Frederic VervischComtoyou RacingAudi0.652s9
10Esteban GuerrieriMunnich MotorsportHonda0.654s13
11Mehdi BennaniSebastien Loeb RacingVolkswagen0.726s10
12Aurelien PanisComtoyou RacingAudi0.744s11
13Denis DupontComtoyou RacingAudi0.774s12
14Norbert MicheliszBRC Racing TeamHyundai0.845s10
15James ThompsonMunnich MotorsportHonda0.994s13
16Gianni MorbidelliTeam MulsanneAlfa Romeo1.030s12
17Pepe OriolaCampos RacingCupra1.157s12
18John FilippiCampos RacingCupra1.183s11
19Thed BjorkYMRHyundai1.250s13
20Fabrizio GiovanardiTeam MulsanneAlfa Romeo1.442s11
21Yvan MullerYMRHyundai1.506s11
22Mat'o HomolaDG Sport CompetitionPeugeot1.590s9
23Norbert NagyZengo MotorsportCupra1.662s13
24Gabriele TarquiniBRC Racing TeamHyundai1.677s10
25Michael VerhagenBas Koeten RacingAudi1.798s13
26Zsolt SzaboZengo MotorsportCupra2.237s2
27Bernhard van OranjeBas Koeten RacingAudi2.658s13

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