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Qualifying report
DTM Oschersleben

DTM Oschersleben: Perera puts Lamborghini on pole, Aitken second

Lamborghini driver Franck Perera claimed pole position for the opening race of the 2023 DTM season at Oschersleben, as Jack Aitken qualified on the front row on his debut.

Franck Perera, SSR Performance Lamborghini Huracán EVO GT3

Perera set a lap of 1m21.370s in his SSR Performance Lamborghini Huracan GT3 on the DTM's first visit to Oschersleben since 2015, beating the Emil Frey Racing Ferrari of Aitken to pole by just 0.018s in a closely-contested qualifying.

Lamborghini drivers held the top spot for much of the 20-minute qualifying, with Alessio Deledda setting the early pace in his Grasser Racing example with a time of 1m22.818s.

Aitken ended Lamborghini's reign briefly when he went to the top with a 1m21.745s flyer with six minutes remaining, but Perera put the Volkswagen Group marque back ahead almost immediately afterwards with a 1m21.601s despite running wide at the final corner.

Perera then found yet more time in the closing minutes of the session, with his final effort of 1m21.370s securing him pole position in only his second appearance in the DTM - and first as full-time racer.

One-time Formula 1 race starter Aitken improved to 1m21.388s in the final minutes of the session to qualify a strong second, outpacing Perera's team-mate and another Lamborghini factory driver Mirko Bortolotti by 0.038s.

Debutant Mick Wishofer made it three cars from Lamborghini's stable inside the top four, the Grasser Racing driver qualifying fourth and just over a tenth of a second slower than Perera.

Fifth place in qualifying went to the Abt Sportsline Audi of works driver Ricardo Feller, with Porsche ace Thomas Preining ending up sixth in the Manthey EMA Porsche with an identical time to Feller.

Two-time DTM Trophy champion Tim Heinemann qualified seventh on his step up to DTM with Toksport WRT Porsche, beating the Schubert BMW of three-time champion Rene Rast.

Rast, competing in BMW colours for the first time in the DTM after his switch from Audi, set a best time of 1m21.577s to qualify eighth overall and first among the BMW contingent.

His team-mate and reigning champion Sheldon van der Linde qualified a frustrating 19th after setting the pace in Friday practice, while Marco Wittmann was even further behind in 21st in the Project 1 BMW M4.

Behind Rast, Laurin Henrich was ninth-fastest in the Team Bernhard Porsche, while Kelvin van der Linde completed the top 10 for Abt Sportsline Audi.

Mercedes endured a woeful qualifying session at Oschersleben, with Winward driver David Schumacher the best of the six-strong AMG contingent in 16th position, albeit with a time that was less than half a second off pole position.

Lucas Auer, returning to racing this weekend following a fracture in Daytona 24 Hours in January, could only set a time good enough for 18th in the sister Winward AMG GT3.

Qualifying results:

 Cla   Nº   Driver   Car / Engine   Time  Gap
94  Franck Perera Lamborghini 1'21.370  
14  Jack Aitken Ferrari 1'21.388 0.018
92  Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini 1'21.426 0.056
19  Mick Wishofer Lamborghini 1'21.485 0.115
Ricardo Feller Audi 1'21.493 0.123
91  Thomas Preining Porsche 1'21.493 0.123
Tim Heinemann Porsche 1'21.500 0.130
33  René Rast BMW 1'21.577 0.207
75  Laurin Heinrich Porsche 1'21.623 0.253
10  Kelvin van der Linde Audi 1'21.639 0.269
11  90  Dennis Olsen Porsche 1'21.639 0.269
12  63  Clemens Schmid Lamborghini 1'21.656 0.286
13  99  Christian Engelhart Porsche 1'21.745 0.375
14  69  Thierry Vermeulen Ferrari 1'21.755 0.385
15  24  Ayhancan Guven Porsche 1'21.808 0.438
16  27  David Schumacher Mercedes 1'21.841 0.471
17  84  Jusuf Owega Mercedes 1'21.878 0.508
18  22  Lucas Auer Mercedes 1'21.910 0.540
19  Sheldon van der Linde BMW 1'21.914 0.544
20  48  Maro Engel Mercedes 1'21.943 0.573
21  11  Marco Wittmann BMW 1'21.948 0.578
22  83  Patric Niederhauser Audi 1'21.954 0.584
23  Luca Engstler Audi 1'22.000 0.630
24  36  Arjun Maini Mercedes 1'22.107 0.737
25  Luca Stolz Mercedes 1'22.463 1.093
26  40  Mattia Drudi Audi 1'22.546 1.176
27  Alessio Deledda Lamborghini 1'22.784 1.414

  

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