Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 5 views remaining

You have read 10 stories this month. After 15, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 25 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 15 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 25 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.

Glenn Freeman Editor
Find out more about our subscriptions
You are on the classic version of Autosport. Visit to see our new site.

Vila Real WTCR: Thed Bjork takes pole after major crash repair

Thed Bjork YMR Hyundai Vila Real WTCR 2018

Thed Bjork rewarded his YMR team's efforts to repair his Hyundai i30 N overnight by claiming pole position for Sunday's main World Touring Car Cup race in Vila Real.

Bjork's i30 N was badly damaged in the monster shunt at the start of Saturday's opening race and could not participate when the race resumed, but was mended by YMR in time for Sunday morning's qualifying session.

The 2017 World Touring Car champion became the first driver to lap below the two-minute mark by going fastest in the second part of qualifying, and improved marginally on that effort in the Q3 shootout session.

Bjork's eventual best time of 1m59.824s gave him a fourth pole position of the season, 0.340 seconds ahead of the BRC Racing Hyundai of Norbert Michelisz.

Michelisz, who injured his hand in the race one crash, was fastest of all in the final sector and will line up ahead of team-mate Gabriele Tarquini.

Pepe Oriola was a standout performer in qualifying as he dragged his Campos Racing Cupra to fourth.

The Spaniard set the second fastest time in the first sector on his Q3 run, but lost time with a slide at the start of the high-speed, downhill section in the middle sector and then at the roundabout at the end of the lap.

He will start ahead of title contender Yann Ehrlacher, whose Munnich Motorsport team like YMR worked overnight to ensure his car was ready for qualifying.

Ehrlacher was second fastest in the second part of qualifying, but ended up fifth in Q3 and eight tenths adrift of Oriola after shipping 0.7s in the middle sector.

Oriola's late improvement to squeeze into the final part of qualifying consigned another impressive performer, Comtoyou Racing's Aurelien Panis, to sixth in his Audi RS3 LMS, ahead of the leading WRT Audi of Jean-Karl Vernay.

Mato Homola made the second part of qualifying for the first time and will start Sunday's main race from eighth in his DG Sport Peugeot 308TCR.

Race one winner Yvan Muller could only manage ninth, but will start Sunday's first race from second behind Gordon Shedden - who will line up on pole for the first time since switching to the WTCR world cup for 2018.

Gordon Shedden WRT Audi Vila Real WTCR 2018

The three-time British Touring Car champion was 10th in Q2 and secured pole for the reversed-grid race by qualifying 0.017s faster than John Filippi.

Esteban Guerrieri was the highest-profile driver to be eliminated in the first part of qualifying and could only manage the 19th fastest time in the second Munnich Motorsport Honda Civic.

The Argentinian, who finished second in Saturday's opening race, ended up close to a second off the Q2 cutoff point with his final effort.

He will start behind the likes of Fabrizio Giovanardi, who was 15th in his Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta and a quarter of a second away from making Q2, and Vila Real local and wildcard entrant Edgar Florindo.

Race two starting grid

1Gordon SheddenWRTAudi
2Yvan MullerYMRHyundai
3Mat'o HomolaDG Sport CompetitionPeugeot
4Jean-Karl VernayWRTAudi
5Aurelien PanisComtoyou RacingAudi
6Yann EhrlacherMunnich MotorsportHonda
7Pepe OriolaCampos RacingCupra
8Gabriele TarquiniBRC Racing TeamHyundai
9Norbert MicheliszBRC Racing TeamHyundai
10Thed BjorkYMRHyundai
11John FilippiCampos RacingCupra
12Benjamin LessennesBoutsen Ginion RacingHonda
13Nathanael BerthonComtoyou RacingAudi
14Aurelien ComteDG Sport CompetitionPeugeot
15Fabrizio GiovanardiTeam MulsanneAlfa Romeo
16Norbert NagyZengo MotorsportCupra
17Edgar FlorindoVeloso MotorsportCupra
18Denis DupontComtoyou RacingAudi
19Esteban GuerrieriMunnich MotorsportHonda
20Gianni MorbidelliTeam MulsanneAlfa Romeo
21Frederic VervischComtoyou RacingAudi
22Zsolt SzaboZengo MotorsportCupra
23Jose RodriguesTarget CompetitionHonda
24Tom CoronelBoutsen Ginion RacingHonda

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed