Marco Wittmann was 0.026 seconds short of Rockenfeller's fastest time.
Zandvoort – With his Audi RS 5 DTM, Mike Rockenfeller claimed pole position for the ninth round of the DTM at Zandvoort in The Netherlands. The 2013 DTM champion will have the new champion Marco Wittmann (BMW) alongside him on the front row of the grid on Sunday.
On his fastest lap, Wittmann was 0.026 seconds short of Rockenfeller's fastest time. Behind Wittmann, four more Audi drivers followed in qualifying: Edoardo Mortara, Mattias Ekström, Jamie Green and Nico Müller. Lausitzring race winner Pascal Wehrlein was the fastest Mercedes-Benz driver in seventh place.
Two champions to start from the front row at Zandvoort
With his Audi RS 5 DTM, Mike Rockenfeller secured pole position in qualifying for the penultimate season round at Zandvoort. Thus, last year’s title winner will start the race ahead of freshly-crowned champion Marco Wittmann (BMW). “A great result. We knew that we would be good here. Moreover, the track at Zandvoort simply suits me. Once again, it was very close, as usual in the DTM. Last time, I still had to start from the midfield. Now, I am up front again,” a delighted Rockenfeller commented. The duel is also thrilling considering the manufacturers’ standings. Prior to the final two rounds, BMW is leading, but only 18 points ahead of Audi.
In spite of his early title win at the Lausitzring, Marco Wittmann’s ambitions remain unaffected. “I am a little bit annoyed, because pole position would have been within reach,” the 24-year-old said. “Unfortunately, I made a slight mistake that cost me the decisive time. On Sunday, I will try everything to make life as difficult as possible for Mike.” With another BMW M4 DTM, Martin Tomczyk qualified eighth.
Pascal Wehrlein has positive and negative feelings after qualifying. The 19-year-old, who scored his maiden DTM race win in the previous round at the Lausitzring, was classified seventh. “On one hand, we can be happy, because we did considerably better than in the practice sessions. On the other and, I am also a little bit annoyed that I am not further up the grid. After first place in Q2, I had high hopes of being able to battle for pole position,” the German commented. Wehrlein was the only driver of a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé to make it into the final qualifying heat.
The ninth and penultimate DTM season round will start on Sunday at 13:30 hrs. ARD is broadcasting live from the dunes in Zandvoort from 13:15 hrs.
The qualifying at a glance
|14.45 hrs||Start of DTM qualifying at Zandvoort. Q1, after which the first 18 drivers continue. Tomczyk is the first driver out on track.|
|14.48 hrs||Ekström is on top of the leader board with 1:31.074 minutes, then toppled by Wittmann with 1:31.055 minutes.|
|14.49 hrs||Jamie Green tops the time sheets with three outright fastest sector times: 1:30.610 minutes.|
|14.50 hrs||Paul Di Resta goes second fastest with 1:30.849.|
|14.51 hrs||Halfway through the 13 minutes' session, Green is on top from Di Resta, Wittmann, Wehrlein, Ekström, Mortara, Rockenfeller, Paffett, Molina and Glock.|
|14.52 hrs||At the moment, Wickens, Félix da Costa, Tomczyk, Juncadella and Petrov wouldn't make it into Q2.|
|14.54 hrs||Dark clouds are rising over the Zandvoort circuit.|
|14.58 hrs||Rockenfeller improves to third with 1:30.994, Tomczyk is fourth with 1:31.047.|
|14.59 hrs||End of the session. Félix da Costa, Farfus, Wickens, Juncadella and Petrov aren't qualified for Q2. Green remains fastest from Di Resta, Rockenfeller, Tomczyk, Wittmann, Wehrlein, Ekström, Mortara, Paffett, Glock, Spengler, Molina, Martin, Müller, Vietoris, Tambay, Hand and Scheider.|
|15.01 hrs||Ekström under investigation because of blocking another car.|
|15.05 hrs||Start of Q2, eleven minutes after which the eight fastest drivers continue. Nico Müller is the first driver to leave the pit lane.|
|15.08 hrs||Mattias Ekström on top of the time sheets with 1:30.815, followed by Jamie Green and Pascal Wehrlein.|
|15.10 hrs||Halfway through the session, Müller, Mortara, Scheider, Hand, Spengler, Martin, Vietoris, Tambay, Paffett and Tomczyk wouldn't be qualified for Q2. Ekström is still on top from Green, Wehrlein, Molina and Rockenfeller.|
|15.14 hrs||Müller from ninth to first: 1:30.494.|
|15.15 hrs||Rockenfeller goes second fastest with 1:30.755. Mortara then goes fastest with 1:30.464, then toppled by Green with 1:30.452.|
|15.16 hrs||Wehrlein goes fastest with 1:30.449. Time has run out. Hand, Molina, Paffett, Tambay, Di Resta, Glock, Spengler, Scheider, Martin and Vietoris aren't qualified for Q3. Wehrlein remains on top from Green, Mortara, Müller, Tomczyk, Rockenfeller, Ekström and Wittmann.|
|15.24 hrs||Start of Q3, the third and final heat with eleven minutes to determine the first eight starting grid positions.|
|15.25 hrs||Pascal Wehrlein is the first driver to go out on track.|
|15.28 hrs||Wehrlein on top with 1:31.938 minutes, then toppled by Ekström: 1:30.869 and Mortara with 1:30.757.|
|15.30 hrs||Wittmann goes fastest with 1:30.739.|
|15.31 hrs||On his first flying lap, Rockenfeller goes fastest with 1:30.713.|
|15.33 hrs||Müller improves from eighth to fifth with 1:30.968.|
|15.34 hrs||Green improves from eighth to fifth with 1:30.957.|
|15.35 hrs||End of the session. Rockenfeller claims pole position from Wittmann, Mortara, Ekström, Green, Müller, Wehrlein and Tomczyk.|