Red Bull Ring DTM: Lawson claims maiden pole in qualifying

Red Bull junior Liam Lawson secured his maiden pole position in the DTM at the Red Bull Ring to reignite his title hopes, as points leader Kelvin van der Linde ended up eighth.

Red Bull Ring DTM: Lawson claims maiden pole in qualifying

Having already set the pace in Friday practice with a time of 1m29.275s, Lawson led the majority of qualifying to beat the Mercedes of Maximilian Gotz by almost three tenths of a second.

As the session got underway, Mucke Mercedes driver Maximilian Buhk was the first driver to beat Lawson's benchmark from Friday, lapping the circuit in 1m29.066s.

Lawson then found a chunk of time on his first flying lap, moving atop the leaderboard with a 1m29.648s.

Rowe BMW's Sheldon van der Linde was the next driver to take the top spot, before home hero Lucas Auer edged him with a time of 1m28.506s in the Winward Mercedes.

Lawson then snatched the top spot again with a 1m28.094s before improving further to a 1m27.851s, putting himself 0.378s clear of his nearest rival as the first runs came to an end.

While several drivers were able to improve in the final part of qualifying, none of them could come anywhere close to Lawson's time in the AF Corse-run Ferrari, the Kiwi securing pole position for the Red Bull team on its home turf.

Gotz ended up second in the HRT Mercedes after improving to a 1m28.122s late in the session, while GetSpeed Mercedes Arjun Maini jumped to third with a 1m28.240s to secure his best-ever starting position in the DTM.

Sheldon van der Linde was BMW's top qualifier in fourth, just 0.001s behind Maini, while Philip Ellis rounded out the top five in the Winward Mercedes.

Nurburgring Race 2 winner Alex Albon couldn't match the lap of his younger teammate Lawson but still ended up a solid sixth with a time of 1m28.286s, ahead of the Walkenhorst BMW of Marco Wittmann.

Championship leader Kelvin van der Linde completed qualifying with a single set of tyres and ended up eighth on a track he feels doesn't suit the characteristics of the Audi R8 LMS.

He was still the top qualifier of the Ingolstadt-based marque with Team Rosberg's Nico Muller finishing only 14th quickest and his own Abt Sportsline teammates Mike Rockenfeller and Sophia Floersch down in 18th and 20th respectively.

Meanwhile, Vincent Abril qualified ninth in the HRT Mercedes ahead of the sister AMG GT3s of Buhk, Daniel Juncadella (GruppeM) and Auer.

DTM debutant Maximilian Paul suffered a crash on his final lap in qualifying, finishing 16th behind his T3 Lamborghini teammate Esteban Muth.

Van der Linde leads the championship on 129 points heading into the first race at the Red Bull Ring, with his nearest challenger Gotz 33 points adrift of him. Lawson is now placed fourth after bagging three points in qualifying, ahead of his teammate Albon.

Red Bull Ring DTM - Qualifying results:

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 New Zealand Liam Lawson Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 1'27.851  
2 Germany Maximilian Götz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'28.122 0.271
3 India Arjun Maini Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'28.240 0.389
4 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M6 GT3 1'28.241 0.390
5 United Kingdom Philip Ellis Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'28.251 0.400
6 Thailand Alex Albon Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 1'28.286 0.435
7 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M6 GT3 1'28.311 0.460
8 South Africa Kelvin van der Linde Audi R8 LMS Evo 1'28.337 0.486
9 France Vincent Abril Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'28.408 0.557
10 Germany Maximilian Buhk Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'28.411 0.560
11 Spain Daniel Juncadella Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'28.425 0.574
12 Austria Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'28.506 0.655
13 Germany Timo Glock BMW M6 GT3 1'28.540 0.689
14 Switzerland Nico Müller Audi R8 LMS Evo 1'28.577 0.726
15 Belgium Esteban Muth BMW M6 GT3 1'28.665 0.814
16 Germany Paul Maximilian Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 1'28.737 0.886
17 United Kingdom Esmee Hawkey Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 1'28.977 1.126
18 Germany Mike Rockenfeller Audi R8 LMS Evo 1'28.984 1.133
19 United States Dev Gore Audi R8 LMS Evo 1'29.367 1.516
20 Germany Sophia Flörsch Audi R8 LMS Evo 1'29.371 1.520
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