Robert Wickens will start from pole tomorrow as he goes in pursuit of his second win this season.
In a thrilling qualifying session for the sixth round of the DTM season at Red Bull Ring, Canadian Robert Wickens proved to have strong nerves. In spite of having spun, the Mercedes-Benz driver kept his cool and claimed pole position with a time of 1:25.175 minutes just before the end of the session. “I knew that we had made a step ahead, but I had never expected to be on pole position. I did my utmost, which is also why I made a mistake. Now, I am looking forward to the race”, the Canadian said.
Until a few seconds before the end, everything looked set for Tim Glock’s maiden DTM pole position, but then, he was toppled by Wickens. “That hurts,” the BMW driver said. “On my cooling down lap, I saw on the video walls that I was first and I was really happy. The fact that Robert (Wickens) still took pole position away from me in the final moment is sad.” Only 0.006 seconds separated the 32-year old from the pole sitter with the DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé.
The Audi drivers are facing a tough job in the race on Sunday. Jamie Green was the only driver with an Audi RS 5 DTM to make it into the third qualifying heat and eventually was classified sixth. “That will be a huge challenge for us. I was only a few tenths of a second down on the front runners, but competition is extremely close. For me, personally, sixth place is a good result. I will do my utmost to fight for a top result for Audi,” the Brit explained.
His fellow Audi driver Mattias Ekström had to take in a huge setback. While points’ leader Marco Wittmann claimed third place on the grid with his BMW M4 DTM, the runner-up in the drivers’ standings only ended up 16th. “Today, we were simply lacking pace. This was the first time this season that I didn’t make any big mistakes and still ended up well down the order,” the two times’ champion said.
Qualifying at a glance
|18.10 hrs.||Start of qualifying at Red Bull Ring, Q1. Ekström is the first driver to go out on track.|
|18.13 hrs.||Ekström sets a time of 1:25.989.|
|18.14 hrs.||Wickens currently fastest with 1:25.325.|
|18.15 hrs.||Farfus now on top: 1:25.056.|
|18.16 hrs.||Halfway through the session, Farfus is on top from Wickens, Félix da Costa, Tomczyk, Green, Glock, Hand, Spengler and Ekström.|
|18.18 hrs.||Farfus improves his own fastest time to 1:24.967.|
|18.20 hrs.||Martin improves to seventh place: 1:25.370.|
|18.21 hrs.||Juncadells is sixth: 1:25.310. With Wickens in third and Vietoris in fifth, there are three Mercedes-Benz drivers currently in the top six.|
|18.22 hrs.||Félix da Costa improves to fourth, Martin is now fifth.|
|18.23 hrs.||End of the session. Paffett, Tambay, Mortara, Petrov and Di Resta aren't qualified for Q2. Farfus remains fastest from Wittmann, Wickens, Félix da Costa, Martin, Wehrlein, Vietoris, Juncadella, Glock, Tomczyk, Green, Ekström, Hand, Molina, Spengler, Rockenfeller, Müller and Scheider.|
|18.30 hrs.||Start of Q2. Wittmann is the first driver on track.|
|18.33 hrs.||Wittmann is the first driver to top the time sheet in Q2 with 1:25.510, Spengler goes second fastest with 1:25.360.|
|18.34 hrs.||Wittmann takes second with 1:25.081. Rockenfeller under investigation because of an unsafe release.|
|18.36 hrs.||Wickens goes fastest: 1:25.050, then Wittmann, Wehrlein, Green, Martin, Hand, Félix da Costa and Vietoris.|
|18.40 hrs.||Glock improves to fourth, 1:25.196, Vietoris goes fifth, 1:25.202.|
|18.41 hrs.||End of the session. Hand, Spengler, Tomczyk, Félix da Costa, Rockenfeller, Scheider, Ekström, Juncadella and Molina aren't qualified for Q3. Wittmann remains fastest from Wickens, Wehrlein, Farfus, Glock, Vietoris Martin, Green.|
|18.49 hrs.||Start of Q3. Farfus is the first driver to leave the pit lane.|
|18.52 hrs.||Wickens spins in the final corner. Farfus tops the time sheet with 1:25.435.|
|18.53 hrs.||Wehrlein is fastest with 1:25.246.|
|18.56 hrs.||Green goes second fastest with 1:25.246, then Wittmann takes first place with 1:25.228.|
|18.57 hrs.||Glock goes fastest: 1.25.181.|
|18.58 hrs.||Farfus completes the 1-2-3 for BMW with the third fastest time: 1:25.237.|
|18.59 hrs.||Wickens improves from eighth to sixth with 1:25.354.|
|19.00 hrs.||On his final flying lap, Wickens improves from sixth to first: 1:5.175. End of the session. Wickens remains fastest from Glock, Wittmann, Farfus, Wehrlein, Green, Vietoris, Martin.|