Audi press release
• 22-year-old Spaniard shines in DTM qualifying at Oschersleben
• Three Audi A4 DTM cars on the two front rows
• Leader of the standings Martin Tomczyk on grid position 14
Olé, olé: The Spaniard Miguel Molina stole the show from the established stars in qualifying for the DTM race at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben by clinching his first pole position in the most popular international touring car racing series. With three A4 DTM cars on the two front rows of the grid Audi achieved an impressive qualifying result.
The youngster from Audi Sport Team Abt Junior, who has been suffering a string of misfortune and unable to score points so far this year, managed to continually improve on Saturday afternoon. After eleventh, fifth and second place in the first three qualifying segments Molina, who at the age of 22 is the youngest Audi factory driver, secured the top spot on the grid in Q4 with a lead of one thousandth of a second over Bruno Spengler.
"Achieving a pole position in the DTM is simply fantastic," jubilated the Spaniard. "Particularly after a season that has been so unfortunate for me up to now. I want to thank Audi and my team for the fantastic car but also my family who is supporting me."
Two of his team-mates, Oliver Jarvis and Mattias Ekström (both from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline), are starting from the second row on Sunday. Directly behind them Timo Scheider is following as another driver from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, who missed Q4 only by 67 thousandths of a second.
Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Team Rosberg) managed the leap into Q3 as well. However, the best rookie in the 2011 DTM did not manage a perfect lap in the third segment. The Italian will start into the race from position eight, Mike Rockenfeller and Filipe Albuquerque, who achieved the fastest time in both free practice sessions, will start from positions ten and eleven.
For Martin Tomczyk qualifying turned out to be a disappointment. For the first time this year the leader of the standings from Audi Sport Team Phoenix was eliminated in the first qualifying section and will only be starting from position 14. "My car was slipping way too much," said the driver from Rosenheim, Bavaria, who is living in Switzerland. "We need to analyze the reason for this because this has never happened before this year. I have my work cut out for me tomorrow. But in the DTM anything is possible."
Tomczyk's team-mate Rahel Frey will tackle the race on Sunday starting at 2 p.m. (from 1:45 p.m., local time, live on "Das Erste") from grid position 16.
"It was an extremely thrilling qualifying," commented Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "I'm very happy for Miguel (Molina) and Oliver (Jarvis), who have had a difficult season so far. Today both of them showed their true potential. Naturally, it's a shame that Martin (Tomczyk) is starting so far from the rear here of all places. But it shows how incredibly close the competition is in the DTM this year.
It’s nice to have three Audi cars among the top four and that Miguel (Molina) has managed to take the pole position - a perfect performance by him and his team. It hurts that Martin (Tomczyk) was already eliminated in Q1. This will make it very difficult for him tomorrow with respect to the championship. But we’re looking ahead and will try and make the best of the situation in the race."
Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM), grid position 1
"Perfect! It couldn’t be better. My first pole position! Achieving a pole in the DTM is really difficult as the competition is strong. There are so many experienced drivers. I’m happy that Audi has given me the chance to compete here."
A tremendous qualifying session, we can be very pleased with third place
Oliver Jarvis (Audi Sport performance cars A4 DTM), grid position 3
"A tremendous qualifying session, we can be very pleased with third place. We squeezed the best out of the car. It’s nice to be back in front after three difficult races. And ‘well done’ to Miguel Molina."
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM), grid position 4
"I had a good qualifying session but I wasn’t perfect today. I can be satisfied with position four on the grid."
Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi A4 DTM), grid position 5
"We’ve made tremendous progress over the season. That was our goal. I was just lacking seven hundredths of a second for fourth place. It’s a shame that Martin (Tomczyk) didn’t have a good qualifying session today. But the season is only over after the last round at Hockenheim."
Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi A4 DTM), grid position 8
"I’m very disappointed. We had difficult free practice sessions. I didn’t have a good feeling there. But in qualifying the car was fantastic. Unfortunately, I made too many mistakes in Q3. We had the chance to finish among the top four. But it didn’t work out. I still need to learn to drive under pressure. We’ll be working on the race set-up now in the warm-up."
Mike Rockenfeller (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A4 DTM), grid position 10
"The free practice sessions went well, the car was okay. Afterward we changed a few things for qualifying and maybe I opted for the wrong direction. But the DTM field is very close together; I wasn’t far away from fifth to ninth position. But this means that sometimes it can be over early."
Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A4 DTM), grid position 11
"Q1 was good. Everything was feeling great but afterward the others were simply quicker. My laps and the speed were okay. Unfortunately, eleventh was the maximum. We were all closely together but I’d actually been aiming for more."
Martin Tomczyk (Schaeffler Audi A4 DTM), grid position 14
"It’s an extreme shame to have been eliminated so early in qualifying. We made some changes between the free practice and qualifying. The car was responding very strangely and difficult to drive. It’s too bad to have a poor qualifying result particularly on this track as at Oschersleben the grid positions are crucial for the race result. We’ll be working through the night to contain the damage and to finish in the points."
The car was responding very strangely and difficult to drive
Rahel Frey (Glamour Audi A4 DTM), grid position 16
"After Brands Hatch we’d been hoping to continue that way. We’re still working on that. Oschersleben is a new track again. We’ve been struggling with grip from the beginning. The track conditions are constantly changing; sometimes we’ll have understeer and then again oversteer. In qualifying I was able to make a step forward but couldn’t close the gap all the way yet. I’m excited about the race."
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline):
"We can be more than happy with this result. Miguel Molina squeezed everything out of the car and deserves the pole position. Now we’ve got to concentrate on the race because it won’t be an easy one."
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix):
"We’re extremely disappointed and are now analyzing all the data. Martin Tomczyk simply had no grip. He’s on position 15, his strongest rival on P2. For the championship that’s difficult. Maybe we’ll have different weather conditions in the race; we’ve got to make the best of the situation. We were satisfied with Rahel (Frey). With a bit more of a cleaner lap she could have possibly caught Susie Stoddart."
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg):
"There was more potential in qualifying and we’d also been hoping for more. But we shouldn’t forget that Mortara and Albuquerque are rookies so these things can happen. This year such mistakes are excusable."