A premiere in Spielberg: maiden DTM pole for Edoardo Mortara
Spielberg. For the fourth time in four DTM races held so far this year, a different driver is starting from pole position. After Mattias Ekström (Audi), Bruno Spengler (BMW) and Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz), Italian Edoardo Mortara came out on top in qualifying at Spielberg in Austria with his Audi A5 DTM. For the best rookie of the year 2011, this is the maiden pole position of his DTM career. “This is incredible. Yesterday, I was still having troubles, but today, fortunately, everything was all right. But this was just qualifying. We have to score a good result on Sunday”, said the 25-year old, who claimed the second pole position of the season for Audi.
Once again, points’ leader Paffett showed himself very strong. The British Mercedes-Benz driver, who will be starting from second place into Sunday’s race, said: “Actually, I didn’t make any mistakes on my final lap. Perhaps, I didn’t risk enough and braked a little bit too early. But being on the front row in this close drivers’ field is great.”
Two times’ DTM champion Ekström will be starting from third place on the grid into the fourth season round in Styria. Behind the Audi driver, current DTM champion Martin Tomczyk set the fourth-fastest time in the final heat of the four-heat shoot out qualifying with his BMW M3 DTM. “Fourth place is a good result, especially as it is all very close. Everything just has to fit in place. We have a competitive car and we will be very quick on the distance tomorrow”, said Tomczyk, who claimed pole position and won the race at Spielberg for Audi last year. Joey Hand from the USA and Spengler, who won at Lausitzring, in fifth and sixth place completed the BMW trio on the first three rows of the starting grid.
Brit Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) followed in seventh place. Filipe Albuquerque from Portugal (Audi) and Germans Dirk Werner (BMW) and Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz) also made it into the top ten in qualifying.
The qualifying result again underlined the competitiveness in the DTM. For the fourth time, all three manufacturers made it into the final qualifying heat. At the Red Bull Ring, there were only 237 thousands of a second between first and fourth place.
The fourth season round covers 47 laps or 203.322 kilometres and starts on Sunday at 13.30 h (CET). ARD is broadcasting live from 13.15 h.