Ingolstadt/Hockenheim - Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) will start into the DTM finale at the Hockenheimring (from 13:45 live on "Das Erste") from grid position four as the best Audi driver.
The Swede continued the performance he had shown at the season opener where he had clinched the pole position in his Red Bull Audi A5 DTM at the same venue.
In Saturday morning’s free practice, Ekström drove the fastest time and was the best Audi driver in each of the qualifying sections.
"That’s why there was no more grip in the tires in Q4," said Ekström. "I’m pleased nonetheless because I’ve been trying to find a perfect set-up for qualifying at a few of the last races. Today, I managed to do that; the car was right on the dot."
On the whole, the Audi drivers were not able to continue the strong results of the free practice session in the morning. Seven of the eight Audi A5 DTM cars made it into Q2 but only three ultimately managed the leap into the top ten.
"After taking the top three places in free practice this morning and all drivers were very happy with their cars, the qualifying results are no doubt a bit disappointing for us," commented Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.
"As is often the case in the DTM, it was incredibly close today and in the warmer conditions our drivers were complaining about lack of grip. But we’ve still got every chance of achieving our aim, which is to win the manufacturers’ championship.
For this goal, we’ve primarily been working on improving our race performance lately. I’m hoping that this’ll pay off tomorrow."
As the second-best Audi driver, Timo Scheider in the AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM will be starting into the race from grid position eight. Edoardo Mortara in the Playboy Audi A5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg secured grid position nine.
Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A5 DTM), in eleventh place, missed Q3 by merely 15 thousandths of a second. Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM) will be starting alongside him on the sixth row as the best driver of Audi Sport Team Phoenix.
Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM) and Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM) will start into the race from grid positions 15 and 16. The female driver of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline managed the leap into Q2 for the second consecutive time.
Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM) lost valuable practice time in the morning due to an excursion into the gravel trap and was the only Audi driver to be eliminated in Q1. The Spaniard will start from position 20.