Two Audi RS 5 DTM cars on second row of the grid

Miguel Molina on grid position three at Nürburgring ‘home round’ and Edoardo Mortara on second row as well. Leader of the standings Mike Rockenfeller starts from position eleven.

Ingolstadt/Nürburg - Since the beginning of the season Miguel Molina has had a second residence near the Nürburgring. Round seven of the DTM is thus something like a home round for the Spaniard – and on Sunday the 24-year-old will be tackling it from grid position three as the best Audi driver.

Miguel Molina, Audi Sport Team Phoenix Racing Audi A5 DTM
Miguel Molina, Audi Sport Team Phoenix Racing Audi A5 DTM

Photo by: Audi Communications Motorsport

As is often the case in the DTM, thousandths of a second made the crucial difference about moving on to the next segment of the four-part qualifying session.

This truth was brought home as well to leader of the standings Mike Rockenfeller, who in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix set the best time in the first segment but in the second one missed the leap into the top ten by a razor-thin margin of 0.007 seconds. Thus, ‘Rocky’ will be starting from position eleven, one place behind his fiercest rival in the battle for the title, BMW driver Bruno Spengler.

Rockenfeller’s team-mate Miguel Molina on the other hand managed a nearly perfect qualifying performance and the leap into the top four for the first time this season.

The Spaniard missed a position on the front row by only 0.006 seconds. He was highly pleased nonetheless: “That was a good qualifying session for me. My thanks go to Audi and to Team Phoenix. We’ve had many rough days this season.

That makes it all the sweeter to finally be able to battle for victory again. I never lost my self-confidence but worked hard. I know how tough the DTM is and that anything can always happen. I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow.”

Alongside Molina, Edoardo Mortara in the Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg will be tackling the race from the second row as well. The Italian who lives in Geneva was quick in all four qualifying segments.

With Mattias Ekström in the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline on grid position nine, drivers of all three Audi factory teams made it into the top ten. Ekström’s team-mate Jamie Green in Q3 felt obstructed by Mercedes driver Gary Paffett and will start alongside Rockenfeller from the sixth row on Sunday.

Adrien Tambay in the Audi ultra RS 5 DTM will be tackling the race from position 14. Filipe Albuquerque in Q1 in 17th place was lacking 0.004 seconds to make it into the next segment after having achieved the best time in the morning’s free practice.

Timo Scheider’s string of misfortune continued at the Nürburgring. In free practice, a technical defect activated the fire extinguisher of his AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM. Due to a problem with the fuel tank system Scheider at the end of Q1 only had a single lap, which ended in traffic and grid position 18.

“We’ve been able to continue our string of being the only manufacturer to have had at least one car on the two front rows of the grid in all races – and here we’ve even got two,” said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “Qualifying was as close as usual, the conditions kept changing slightly, depending on the position of the clouds.

So that meant a bit of fortune was necessary as well. ‘Rocky’ unfortunately didn’t have it in Q2. Starting from position eleven tomorrow won’t make things easy for him. But Bruno (Spengler) and Gary (Paffett), his two fiercest rivals in the battle for the title, aren’t at the very front either. I’m particularly happy for Miguel (Molina) and Edo (Mortara): Both have had a difficult season so far and will have the chance of finishing on the podium tomorrow.”

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “Today we could see again how quickly the tables can turn in the DTM. The gaps are so close that the smallest details are decisive and the leader of the standings, after setting a best time in Q1, can find himself on grid position eleven.

With (Bruno) Spengler right in front of him ‘Rocky’ will be in good company tomorrow ... the starting order, in general, promises a lot of suspense. None of the three top favorites is starting from the first two rows. In addition, there’s an uncertain weather forecast. These are good reasons to watch the race here in the Eifel or on TV tomorrow.”

Dieter Gass (Head of DTM): “We’ve got some mixed feelings. Obviously, we’d have liked to see ‘Rocky’ (Mike Rockenfeller) a bit further at the front. But it simply wasn’t meant to be. It was extremely close, about thousandths of a second. We were lacking a bit of fortune. The times, to some extent, were influenced by the condition of the cloud ceiling as well.

But even from grid position eleven there’s something that can be done in the DTM. Bruno (Spengler) is on the row in front and Gary (Paffett) within viewing range as well. That should make a few things possible for ‘Rocky.’ For Miguel (Molina) and Edoardo (Mortara), I’m happy that they’re on the second row. Both have suffered a lot of misfortune at times this season. Today, they drove a good qualifying session and deserve having made it onto the second row. I’m hoping for them to be able to convert this on track accordingly.”

Miguel Molina (Audi RS 5 DTM, grid position 3): “I’m very happy because we did a good job today – Audi and Phoenix gave me a good car. I enjoyed qualifying very much. I was the fastest Audi driver today. I always have confidence in myself – and that was the key to continuing to work even though we had some difficult days in the past. But we kept on working consistently and the team has always had faith in me.”

Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM, grid position 4): “It was a good qualifying session. Fourth place is a decent starting position. Of course we’re hoping to achieve even more in the race.”

Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM, grid position 9): “Ninth place isn’t what I’d been wishing for. But there’s nothing we can do about it now anymore. I’m not completely happy.”

Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM, grid position 11): “Qualifying was a bit disappointing. Naturally, I’d have liked to be a bit further at the front. Now we’re starting right in the middle of the field. In my opinion, the car wasn’t fast enough today. We’ve got make the best of it in the race.”

Jamie Green (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM, grid position 12): “The lap times were very close together; we barely missed the leap into Q3. On my best lap, I was slowed by Gary Paffett. We are certainly fast enough.”

Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra RS 5 DTM, grid position 14): “Having to start the race from position 14 definitely isn’t optimal. But I did give my best. It simply wasn’t possible to squeeze any more out of the car today. Hopefully, it’ll rain tomorrow.”

Filipe Albuquerque (Audi Financial Services RS 5 DTM, grid position 17): “I didn’t expect such a poor result in qualifying. I simply didn’t have any grip. Now we’ve got to analyze what went wrong.”

Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM, grid position 18): “A very disappointing qualifying session for me. On the first outing, the car actually felt pretty good. Then, for the second run, we tried to refuel, but there was a problem with the fuel tank system, so we couldn’t refuel. I was able to do only one more lap – and that simply wasn’t enough. At the moment, there’s one problem right after the other and it seems as if the situation doesn’t want to get any better.”

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “Qualifying wasn’t optimal for us. But we also knew that it would be difficult to be at the very front here. That’s why the team concentrated on being strong in the race tomorrow. Tomorrow, it’ll be important to do a good job of handling the option tires. We’ve managed to make up ground from even worse positions and move far to the front before and are hoping to be able to start a few recoveries tomorrow as well.”

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): “That was a really thrilling qualifying session. Both Phoenix Audi cars showed a good performance. It’s a shame that ‘Rocky’ (Mike Rockenfeller) was eliminated in Q2 by a narrow margin. It was about thousandths of a second. But I’m confident for tomorrow that he’ll be able to advance in the race. Miguel (Molina) did a superb job. He improved from session to session. With grid position three he broke his duck and we’re all very happy for him.”

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): “I’ve got mixed emotions. With Edoardo (Mortara) we’re on the second row of the grid. He drove fantastic times. Unfortunately, the first sector of the last segment didn’t quite fit; otherwise even more would have been possible. But I’m still happy about this result. Filipe (Albuquerque) on the other hand was eliminated in Q1 – even though he drove the best time in free practice this morning. I’m still at a loss as to why that was the case.”

Audi Sport Teami

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Timo Scheider , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Mike Rockenfeller , Hans-Jurgen Abt , Filipe Albuquerque , Miguel Molina , Jamie Green , Edoardo Mortara , Adrien Tambay
Teams Team Abt , Phoenix Racing , Audi Sport Team Rosberg
Article type Qualifying report
Tags audi, dtm, molina, mortara, nurburgring, rockenfeller