Hockenheim. Picture-perfect weather for the DTM season finale at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, where the 22 DTM drivers battled it out for the starting grid positions for the race on Sunday for the final time this year. BMW dominated proceedings in qualifying, because the brand from Munich had a clean sweep in the final heat of the hunt for the fastest times, locking out the first four places. The fastest driver was Bruno Spengler. The 30-year old completed his lap of the 4.574 kilometres long track in 1:33.443 minutes and will thus be starting from first place on the grid for the 16th time in his DTM career. “In the last few races, I often had bad luck. Being on pole is simply so much fun. I am happy for the guys in my team who are working very hard. Moreover, we want to defend the manufacturers’ title,” the Canadian said after qualifying.
Spengler’s fellow BMW driver Dirk Werner will be lining up next to him on the front row of the grid for the tenth season round of 42 laps, starting from second place. The driver from Hanover was 0.303 seconds down on Spengler’s time. “Our boss has said how important the manufacturers’ title is and what we have to do,” the 32-year old explained. Brit Andy Priaulx and Timo Glock, also with BMW M3 DTM, claimed third and fourth place on the grid respectively. For both, it was their best DTM qualifying result. Most recently, Audi had locked out the fourth DTM qualifying heat with all four cars at Zandvoort in 2012.
Miguel Molina was the fastest Audi driver in fifth place. “A nice moment for me. Being the best-placed Audi driver in the final qualifying session of the year is great. Today, I got the maximum out of the car and I didn’t make any mistakes. Tomorrow, we will battle for the manufacturers’ and teams’ title,” the Spaniard said.
Canadian Robert Wickens was the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver in 13th place. The 24-year old said about qualifying: “The DTM is a tough series. Unfortunately, I made a little mistake in Q2 and to make it beyond the second qualifying heat in the DTM, you need a perfect lap. I didn’t manage to get that, but anything can happen tomorrow.”
Mike Rockenfeller (Audi), who already secured himself the title in the race at Zandvoort, didn’t do better than ninth place. “Of course, I had hoped for more, but today, things simply didn’t go so well,” the newly-crowned DTM champion said.
Prior to the race on Sunday, Rockenfeller is leading in the drivers’ standings beyond reach with 142 points from Augusto Farfus (BMW) with 118 and Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz) with 71 points. The tenth and final round of the season will start on Sunday at 14.00 hrs. ARD is broadcasting live from 13.15 hrs.