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Qualifying report
DTM Oschersleben

DTM Oschersleben: Preining on pole as Porsche dominates Sunday qualifying

Thomas Preining claimed his maiden DTM pole in Sunday’s qualifying session at Oschersleben, as Porsche grabbed five of the top seven spots on the grid.

Manthey EMA driver Preining topped the 20-minute session with a time of 1m21.347s, beating the similar Porsche 911 GT3 R of Toksport WRT driver Tim Heinemann by 0.055s to pole in a somewhat anticlimactic end to qualifying.

It marked Preining’s first pole in DTM in 18 attempts, the Austrian driver having never started higher than second on the grid despite scoring two wins in his rookie campaign last year - including the very first for Porsche as a manufacturer.

Preining first moved to the top of the timesheets with three minutes to go when he set a time of 1m21.370s, which was identical to the lap with which Franck Perera claimed pole on Saturday.

This benchmark would have proved good enough for pole, but the 24-year-old managed to lower that further on his next attempt, making a small but significant 0.053s improvement to seal the top spot on the grid for Sunday's second race of the season.

Almost all drivers had completed their final flying laps before the clock hit zero, a major departure from the usual pattern of drivers leaving it as late as possible to set their quickest times in order to take advantage of track evolution.

This meant that Preining was already back in the pitlane when he was told over radio that he has secured pole position for the race.

Behind the young Porsche ace, Heinemann took second on the grid to follow up on his impressive debut on Saturday, while Clemens Schmid was a surprise third in the Grasser Racing Lamborghini and just 0.085s off pole.

Factory Lamborghini driver Mirko Bortolotti was not far behind in fourth in the top SSR Performance Huracan GT3, while Dennis Olsen was a tenth adrift in the second of the two Manthey EMA Porsches.

Ayhancan Guven qualified a strong sixth for Team Bernhard Porsche, while works driver Christian Engelhart jumped to seventh late on in the Toksport WRT Porsche with a 1m21.651s.

Mercedes enjoyed a far better showing after a nightmare start to the season on Saturday, with Landgraf driver Maro Engel qualifying just 0.318s off the pace in seventh ahead of team-mate Jusuf Owega and fellow AMG racer Lucas Auer (Winward).

Three-time DTM champion Rene Rast was once again BMW’s best qualifier, putting his Schubert Motorsport M4 GT3 11th on the grid with a time that was just 0.339s off Preining’s pole lap.

The two Abt Sportline Audis qualified 13th and 14th behind debutant Mick Wishofer’s Grasser Lamborghini, with Ricardo Feller edging out team-mate Kelvin van der Linde by just under a tenth of a second.

Reigning champion Sheldon van der Linde’s woes continued as he finished a distant 15th in his Schubert BMW, 0.518s off the best lap in qualifying.

Ferrari drivers also endured a troubled qualifying session, with Jack Aitken only 17th for Emil Frey after qualifying on the front row and finishing on the podium in Saturday’s opener.

Yesterday’s race winner Perera also struggled en route to 18th in qualifying.

Qualifying results:

 Cla   Nº   Driver   Car / Engine   Time   Gap 
91  Thomas Preining Porsche 1'21.347  
Tim Heinemann Porsche 1'21.402 0.055
63  Clemens Schmid Lamborghini 1'21.436 0.089
92  Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini 1'21.450 0.103
90  Dennis Olsen Porsche 1'21.573 0.226
24  Ayhancan Guven Porsche 1'21.581 0.234
99  C.Engelhart Porsche 1'21.651 0.304
48  Maro Engel Mercedes 1'21.665 0.318
84  Jusuf Owega Mercedes 1'21.670 0.323
10  22  Lucas Auer Mercedes 1'21.673 0.326
11  33  René Rast BMW 1'21.686 0.339
12  19  Mick Wishofer Lamborghini 1'21.696 0.349
13  Ricardo Feller Audi 1'21.698 0.351
14  K.van der Linde Audi 1'21.786 0.439
15  S.van der Linde BMW 1'21.865 0.518
16  27  David Schumacher Mercedes 1'21.868 0.521
17  14  Jack Aitken Ferrari 1'21.924 0.577
18  94  Franck Perera Lamborghini 1'21.925 0.578
19  69  T.Vermeulen Ferrari 1'21.959 0.612
20  83  P.Niederhauser Audi 1'22.040 0.693
21  75  Laurin Heinrich Porsche 1'22.049 0.702
22  11  Marco Wittmann BMW 1'22.057 0.710
23  Luca Stolz Mercedes 1'22.180 0.833
24  36  Arjun Maini Mercedes 1'22.203 0.856
25  Luca Engstler Audi 1'22.264 0.917
26  40  Mattia Drudi Audi 1'22.295 0.948
27  Alessio Deledda Lamborghini 1'23.021 1.674

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