Red Bull Ring DTM: BMW's Wittmann pips Lawson to Sunday pole

Factory BMW driver Marco Wittmann edged Liam Lawson by 0.026s to claim pole position for the second DTM race at the Red Bull Ring.

Two-time DTM champion Wittmann led the majority of the 20-minute qualifying session, with a time of 1m28.478s putting him at the top of the timesheets after the first runs.

Laptimes tumbled as the car returned on track in the final five minutes, with Maximilian Gotz moving atop the leaderboard with a 1m28.362s in the HRT Mercedes.

However, Wittmann responded immediately in his Walkenhorst BMW, breaking the 1m28s barrier on his next flying lap to snatch the position back from his countryman.

Saturday polesitter Lawson then tried to spoil Wittmann’s party with a purple time in sector two, but he ultimately fell just 0.026s short of securing a clean sweep of pole positions on Red Bull’s home ground.

However, Wittmann’s pole time of 1m27.892s was fractionally slower than what Lawson managed on Saturday in the AF Corse Ferrari due to varying track conditions.

Meanwhile, Sheldon van der Linde put two BMWs inside the top three in the Rowe Racing M6, 0.174s down on the ultimate pace set by Wittmann.

Gotz continued his consistent run in the 2021 season by securing a spot on the outside of the second row after improving to a 1m28.133s, beating Winward Mercedes duo Philip Ellis and Lucas Auer, who qualified fifth and sixth respectively.

Championship leader Kelvin van der Linde was again Audi’s top qualifier on a track that doesn’t suit the characteristics of the R8 LMS, ending up seventh in the Abt Sportsline entry with a time of 1m28.350s.

HRT’s Vincent Abril qualified eighth while the top 10 was rounded out by the second Red Bull-backed entry of Alex Albon and the GetSpeed Mercedes of Arjun Maini - the latter making it five cars from the Stuttgart brand inside the first five rows.

Timo Glock could only manage the 11th fastest time in the second of the Rowe BMWs, while last year’s runner-up Nico Muller was a lowly 12th in the Team Rosberg Audi.

Daniel Juncadella endured a disappointing session for GruppeM Racing, ending up as the lowest-placed Mercedes driver in 15th place, just ahead of 2013 champion Mike Rockenfeller and his Abt Audi.

Qualifying results:

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M6 GT3 1'27.892  
2 New Zealand Liam Lawson Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 1'27.918 0.026
3 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M6 GT3 1'28.092 0.200
4 Germany Maximilian Götz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'28.133 0.241
5 United Kingdom Philip Ellis Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'28.198 0.306
6 Austria Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'28.316 0.424
7 South Africa Kelvin van der Linde Audi R8 LMS Evo 1'28.350 0.458
8 France Vincent Abril Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'28.378 0.486
9 Thailand Alex Albon Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 1'28.409 0.517
10 India Arjun Maini Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'28.425 0.533
11 Germany Timo Glock BMW M6 GT3 1'28.482 0.590
12 Germany Maximilian Buhk Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'28.492 0.600
13 Switzerland Nico Müller Audi R8 LMS Evo 1'28.560 0.668
14 Germany Paul Maximilian Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 1'28.651 0.759
15 Spain Daniel Juncadella Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'28.772 0.880
16 Germany Mike Rockenfeller Audi R8 LMS Evo 1'28.853 0.961
17 Belgium Esteban Muth BMW M6 GT3 1'28.914 1.022
18 United Kingdom Esmee Hawkey Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 1'29.078 1.186
19 Germany Sophia Flörsch Audi R8 LMS Evo 1'29.295 1.403
20 United States Dev Gore Audi R8 LMS Evo 1'29.300 1.408
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Red Bull Ring DTM: Lawson reignites title challenge with win
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