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Qualifying report
DTM Norisring

DTM Norisring: Van der Linde beats Preining to pole in Saturday qualifying

Reigning DTM champion Sheldon van der Linde claimed his first pole position of the 2023 season after topping Saturday’s qualifying session at the Norisring.

Sheldon van der Linde, Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3

Due to the short nature of the Nuremberg street circuit, the 27-driver grid was split into two groups for qualifying, with each group getting 20 minutes of on-track time. 

Van der Linde was part of the second qualifying session and lapped the 2.3km circuit in 48.775s in his Schubert BMW, beating Thomas Preining’s time from Group A by 0.178s to take pole position.

Manthey EMA’s Prening had set the pace in Friday practice ahead of qualifying and was the only driver from his group to dip into 48s, but the laptimes in the second session were much quicker - with a total of six drivers breaking the 49s barrier.

Among that quartet was Team Bernhard Porsche driver Ayhancan Guven, whose time of 48.791s - which was just 0.016s slower than van der Linde’s pole time - put him third on the grid.

Second-fastest in Group A, HRT Mercedes driver Luca Stolz qualified fourth alongside Guven, with Abt driver Kelvin van der Linde the top representative for Audi in fifth.

Mirko Bortolotti was next up in sixth for SSR Performance Lamborghini, while Schubert BMW’s Rene Rast qualified seventh on his return to DTM after missing last month’s Zandvoort round due to clashing commitments in Formula E.

Winward driver Lucas Auer was seventh-fastest ahead of fellow Mercedes racer Jusuf Owega (Landgraf), while the top 10 was completed by Ricardo Feller in the Abt Audi.

Several leading DTM drivers were off the pace in the two-part qualifying session, with Zandvoort Race 1 winner Maro Engel ending up 14th in the Landgraf Mercedes, two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann (Project 1 BMW) finishing only 16th, and Franck Perera languishing in 17th in his SSR Lamborghini.

One-time F1 race starter Jack Aitken also endured a tough qualifying session as he qualified all the way down in 26th position for Emil Frey, just behind team-mate Thierry Vermeulen, as Ferrari ended up as the slowest of the six manufacturers.

Group A results:

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 Austria Thomas Preining Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 48.933  
2 Germany Luca Stolz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 49.046 0.113
3 Italy Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 49.049 0.116
4 Austria Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 49.120 0.187
5 Switzerland Ricardo Feller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 49.154 0.221
6 Germany Laurin Heinrich Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 49.241 0.308
7 Germany Maro Engel Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 49.259 0.326
8 Germany Christian Engelhart Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 49.314 0.381
9 Frank Perera Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 49.366 0.433
10 Austria Mick Wishofer Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 49.513 0.580
11 Germany Luca Engstler Audi R8 LMS Evo II 49.555 0.622
12 Italy Mattia Drudi Audi R8 LMS Evo II 49.564 0.631
13 United Kingdom Jack Aitken Ferrari 296 GT3 49.766 0.833
14 Italy Alessio Deledda Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 49.887 0.954

Group B results:

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 GT3 48.775  
2 Turkey Ayhancan Güven Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 48.791 0.016
3 South Africa Kelvin van der Linde Audi R8 LMS Evo II 48.821 0.046
4 Germany René Rast BMW M4 GT3 48.939 0.164
5 Jusuf Owega Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 48.991 0.216
6 Norway Dennis Olsen Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 48.993 0.218
7 Tim Heinemann Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 49.079 0.304
8 India Arjun Maini Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 49.140 0.365
9 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 GT3 49.154 0.379
10 Germany David Schumacher Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 49.282 0.507
11 Austria Clemens Schmid Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 49.290 0.515
12 Switzerland Patric Niederhauser Audi R8 LMS Evo II 49.544 0.769
13 Thierry Vermeulen Ferrari 296 GT3 49.920 1.145

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