Martin wasn’t the only DTM novice to shine in qualifying.
Moscow - Belgian Maxime Martin sparked a huge surprise in qualifying for the DTM race at Moscow Raceway. With his BMW M4 DTM, the rookie driver completed his best lap of the demanding track near Moscow in 1:28.619 minutes and thus outpaced his seasoned fellow BMW driver, Bruno Spengler from Canada. For the 28-year-old, joy about his first starting grid position for only his fifth DTM race was boundless: “This is just fantastic! We keep getting better and better and it is great that I already scored my first pole at only my fifth attempt. I really like the track here in Moscow. On top of that, the car was simply great. In the race, I want to get the best out of it,” the BMW driver said.
This is just fantastic! We keep getting better and better and it is great that I already scored my first pole at only my fifth attempt.
Pole winner Maxime Martin
Martin wasn’t the only DTM novice to shine in qualifying. Swiss Nico Müller also showed a convincing performance, qualifying a strong third as the best-placed Audi driver. “A good day for me. Making it into the third qualifying heat was my goal. That worked out and I even made it into third place. This is my best DTM qualifying result to date. I got a lot out of the car, but not everything yet. That is what I intend to do tomorrow,” the best-placed driver of an Audi RS 5 DTM commented. Reigning DTM champion Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) is lining up on the second row of the grid alongside Müller.
Robert Wickens had to accept a setback. The Canadian, who scored his first win of the season at Norisring, ended up 14th in qualifying. “Prior to qualifying, we still hade made some changes on the car, but unfortunately, they didn’t work out as we had intended. Now, my goal is to still score some points in the race. Because of the long straight, the DRS certainly has a big effect. The tyre strategy will be important, too. We will see what the race will bring,” the 25-year-old said.
Qualifying was also disappointing for Vitaly Petrov, who was classified third with his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé. The only Russian driver in the field, the 29-year-old Mercedes-Benz driver is among the crowd favourites in Moscow.
The fifth season round at Moscow Raceway will cover 48 laps and will start at 13:30hrs CET (15:30hrs local time). ARD is broadcasting live from the Russian round of the most popular international touring car series from 13:15hrs onwards.
The qualifying at a glance
Start of the session, Rockenfeller is the first driver to go out.
Mike Rockenfeller on top of the timing screens with 1:29.311 minutes.
Maxime Martin goes fastest with 1:28.920, then Rockenfeller fastest again with 1:28.834.
With five minutes remaining, Rockenfeller is still on top from Martin, Wittmann, Müller, Ekström, Farfus, Tambay, Scheider, Molina and Green.
Juncadella is under investigation by the stewards because of an unsafe release from his pit stall.
Glock improves to third place: 1:29.091.
Félix da Costa goes second fastest with a lap time of 1:28.912, then Farfus takes second place with 1:28.882.
End of the session. Tomczyk, Wehrlein, Paffett, Vietoris and Petrov aren't qualified for Q2. Rockenfeller remains fastest from Farfus, Wittmann, Félix da Costa, Martin, Glock, Müller, Ekström, Tambay and Wickens.
Start of Q2. Müller is the first driver to leave the pit lane.
Martin on top of the time sheets with 1:28.798, then Wittmann takes over with 1:28.689.
Rockenfeller improves to second with 1:28.744.
With three minutes remaining, Wittmann is leading from Rockenfeller, Martin, Green, Molina, Farfus, Glock, Spengler.
Molina takes over first place with 1:28.583.
Martin is now fastest with 1:28.523.
End of the session. Martin remains fastest from Molina, Farfus, Wittmann, Rockenfeller, Müller, Spengler and Tambay. Not qualified for Q3 are Green, Glock, Ekström, Mortara, Félix da Costa, Wickens, Juncadella, Hand, Scheider and Di Resta.
Start of Q3. Rockenfeller is the first driver to leave the pit lane.
Rockenfeller on top: 1:28.813.
Wittmann is currently second, from Farfus, Molina, and Martin. All other drivers still have to complete a timed lap.
Molina improves to second: 1:28.925.
Bruno Spengler goes fastest: 1:28.638.
Tambay goes second fastest: 1:28.810.
Martin sets a new fastest time: 1:28.619, Spengler is second with 1:28.638.
End of the session. Martin remains fastest from Spengler, Müller, Rockenfeller, Tambay, Farfus, Wittmann, Molina.