Audi in strong position with four RS 5 DTM cars in top eight.
Ingolstadt/Klettwitz - Audi newcomer Jamie Green gave himself a gift a day after his 31st birthday. The Briton from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline in qualifying for the DTM race at the Lausitzring (Sunday starting at 13:15, local time, live on Das Erste) took third place as the best Audi driver.Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM showed a remarkable performance right in the morning, driving the fastest lap in free practice. In the afternoon, he managed to battle his way into the crucial qualifying segment for the first time since switching to Audi and secured position three on the grid with a strong lap in Q4.
The first three races with Audi werent optimal for me, said Green. I had to get used to the car and the team first. But now Im back. This morning, I was the quickest and now in qualifying the fastest Audi driver. Im happy and hoping to finish on the podium tomorrow. Mercedes was very strong today but they were very strong here last year as well.
A total of four Audi drivers will be starting the race from the first four rows on Sunday. The runner-up in the standings, Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM/Audi Sport Team Phoenix), will start alongside front runner Bruno Spengler from the third row. Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra RS 5 DTM) und Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM/Audi Sport Team Rosberg) are sharing the fourth row.
Mortaras team-mate Filipe Albuquerque (Audi Financial Services RS 5 DTM) achieved the thirteenth-fastest time but is moving up to position twelve because BMW driver Augusto Farfus received a five-position grid penalty due to a violation in free practice.
Miguel Molina (Audi RS 5 DTM) was struck by major misfortune: The Spaniard achieved the ninth-best time in Q1 but due to a technical problem on the driveline was unable to participate in Q2 and will therefore start from position 16.
Qualifying ended in disappointment for Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM) and Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM): Both two-time DTM Champions, in 17th and 18th place respectively, were eliminated right in Q1.
Today, weve seen how quickly the tables can turn, commented Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. BMW most recently was regarded as dominant and suddenly Mercedes is very strong here especially in sector one. Were not unhappy with four RS 5 DTM cars in the top eight, although the gap to the front runners is unusually large considering what the gaps typically are in the DTM.
Im hoping for this to change tomorrow. Its nice that the showing by our birthday child Jamie Green was on the mark for the first time today with respect to what we expected of him. And Mike Rockenfeller, our driver with the highest points score, has got a decent starting base with position six on the grid as well.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): Im very happy for Jamie Green, who in his first three races for Audi suffered an incredible amount of misfortune. That he didnt bury his head in the sand but, together with his engineer, the team, and Audi Sport, worked hard to get to where we expected him to be, which is very far at the front, says something for him.
Dieter Gass (Head of DTM): Weve got a good team result with four cars in the top eight. Unfortunately, theres no Audi at the very front this time. But basically, Jamies (Green) third place is a good starting base too. After having been unfortunate at the beginning of the season, he showed here what hes capable of achieving if everything goes its normal course. Im hoping for him to be able to up the ante a bit more in the race.
Jamie Green (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM, grid position 3): Im very happy. After the first three races didnt go so smoothly, its nice that Im finally where I should be. Being so far at the front in the Audi for the first time takes a big load off my shoulders. It feels very good.
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM, grid position 6): Sixth place isnt what Id been hoping for. But we all know how hard it is to even get there. In Q1 and Q2, I didnt get too many things wrong. But in Q3, I made a mistake and thats enough to keep you from moving forward. Still, sixth place is a good starting base for tomorrows race.
Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra RS 5 DTM, grid position 7): Im happy to have made it into Q3. Its not a pole position but Im back again where I wanted to be as a minimum. We can have a strong race if we make optimal use of the option tires and the DRS with a good strategy.
Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM, grid position 8): I had a good car. In Q3, though, I didnt have a perfect feeling and it took me a long time to drive a good lap I only managed to do that on the fourth lap. In the first races, we saw that the strategy is very important and that a good result is possible even if you didnt finish qualifying in the top five. Thats what were going to try tomorrow.
Filipe Albuquerque (Audi Financial Services RS 5 DTM, grid position 12): My aim was Q3, but unfortunately that wasnt possible. I had some traffic, which caused me to lose my rhythm. But position twelve on the grid is okay because in this season anythings possible in the race.
Miguel Molina (Audi RS 5 DTM, grid position 16): In Q1, I had a fast car and was able to drive a good lap. But on the last lap, I had a technical problem. I wanted to drive to the pits but the car was too heavily damaged. Thats why I wasnt able to run in Q2. Thats a shame because today Id have had a good car for qualifying.
Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM, grid position 17): We didnt have a good set-up; I didnt feel comfortable in the cockpit. Obviously, 17th place is disappointing. Weve always been good in qualifying this season so far and then had poor race results. Maybe this weekend well have a strong race result after a weak qualifying for a change.
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM, grid position 18): In the beginning, we were too slow. Weve just simply got to improve. The race will be long and hard but were going to give our best to advance.
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): Well done to Jamie (Green), I think he arrived today. We know that hes strong at the Lausitzring and he showed a fantastic performance as the best Audi driver. We can be pleased as a team and need to concentrate on him in the race, as Eki and Timo (Scheider) werent so good. Well done also to Adrian Tambay in seventh place. Im hoping for something to come out of this in the race.
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): Every lap in qualifying this year has got to fit one hundred percent in order to move forward. Rocky managed this perfectly today, in sixth place theres no reason for him to fear comparison. With a good strategy, anythings possible in the race. Its nice that both cars had the pace even though a technical problem occurred in Miguels (Molina) case. Im optimistic for the race.
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): Id expected a bit more. Q1 was off to a very good start but then a few small mistakes crept in. Edo (Mortara) was in contention pretty well, but on his last attempt he was lacking a couple of tenths of a second, otherwise hed have continued.