Nurburgring DTM: Muller beats Rast to Saturday pole

Nico Muller claimed pole position for the first of the DTM races at the Nurburgring’s grand prix layout on Saturday, beating Audi stablemate Rene Rast in a straight fight in qualifying.

Nurburgring DTM: Muller beats Rast to Saturday pole

With the track surface less abrasive than some of the other circuits used in the first half of the season, the drivers were able to complete as many as two push laps in one run.

Reigning champion Rast laid the initial benchmark with a time of 1m47.414s, the fastest lap of the weekend, before he was eclipsed by Muller’s 1m47.374s flyer.

Rast shot back on his second push lap to lap the circuit in 1m47.150s and, although Muller set the quickest time of everyone in the first sector, Rast held on to provisional pole by 0.027s.

The Team Rosberg driver improved further to 1m47.055s on his second run in qualifying, putting himself 0.122s clear of the championship leader.

However, Muller managed to regain the advantage on his final flyer, breaking the 1m47s barrier on his way to a stellar lap of 1m46.834s.

Rast opted against doing a second push lap on his final run, allowing Muller to claim his second pole position of the season by a healthy margin of 0.221s.

Robin Frijns, who had scored four pole positions in the opening eight races of the year, wasn’t in contention for a front-row start this time, qualifying half a second down on his Abt Audi teammate Muller in third.

Marco Wittmann finished as the strongest BMW driver in fourth, less than a tenth adrift of Frijns, but nearly seventh tenths slower than the pole time.

Audi's 2013 champion Mike Rockenfeller and WRT Audi driver Ferdinand Habsburg qualified fifth and sixth respectively, the two drivers separated by just 0.007s.

Sheldon van der Linde, who delivered BMW’s second victory of the season at Assen last weekend, was seventh, ahead of the Audis of Jamie Green and Loic Duval.

Philipp Eng made it three BMW drivers in the top 10, as the Bavarian brand again struggled against Audi on one-lap pace.

Robert Kubica finish 1.6s off the pace in 15th in the ART-run customer BMW, only out-qualifying the WRT Audi of Fabio Scherer.

Nurburgring DTM - Qualifying results:

Cla # Driver Car Time Gap
1 51 Switzerland Nico Müller Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'46.834  
2 33 Germany René Rast Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'47.055 0.221
3 4 Netherlands Robin Frijns Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'47.428 0.594
4 11 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 1'47.493 0.659
5 99 Germany Mike Rockenfeller Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'47.549 0.715
6 62 Austria Ferdinand Habsburg Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'47.556 0.722
7 31 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 1'47.631 0.797
8 53 United Kingdom Jamie Green Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'47.642 0.808
9 28 France Loic Duval Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'47.751 0.917
10 25 Austria Philipp Eng BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 1'47.938 1.104
11 22 Austria Lucas Auer BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 1'47.968 1.134
12 16 Germany Timo Glock BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 1'48.034 1.200
13 27 South Africa Jonathan Aberdein BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 1'48.096 1.262
14 10 United Kingdom Harrison Newey Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'48.206 1.372
15 8 Poland Robert Kubica BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 1'48.450 1.616
16 13 Switzerland Fabio Scherer Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'48.935 2.101
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