Following a dominant session for Audi, it’s Rene Rast on pole for this afternoon’s race – a first for him and the team. Jonathan Aberdein from team WRT makes it a front row lockout for the Ingolstadt manufacturer. Problems for Marco Wittmann sees him start at the back of the grid.
A good day in the office for Audi as they have four of their cars in the top five. Rene Rast luckiest of them all, as he managed to put his car on pole. His best time was a 1m25.294s, set on his first run. He didn’t take part in the second run, and it showed that he was right. Only a few drivers managed to improve. Afterwards, Rast said: “Yeah obviously very, very happy. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on pole. 3 points for the championship, just used one set of tires. Couldn’t be any better. So hopefully we have a good start and a good race as well.”
Jonathan Aberdein, driving for Audi’s customer team WRT, will start the race from the front row as well. His best time, a 1m25.362s, is only 0.068s slower Rast. A fantastic qualifying for the DTM rookie. “P2 in quali for us.” Aberdein said after the session. “A great result after yesterday. First points in DTM also, which is a bit unexpected to come in qualifying. But looking to build on that for the race.”
There’s another Audi duo at the second row of the grid – Loic Duval and Robin Frijns. Duval has some good memories from Misano, as he was pretty successful here last year. Best placed BMW is Sheldon van der Linde, also a rookie. He will start from fifth. At the previous race in Zolder, he took the first pole position of his DTM career. Two of his BMW teammates – Bruno Spengler and Philipp Eng will start right behind him in sixth and seventh. Rounding out the top ten are Nico Mueller, Mike Rockenfeller and Timo Glock.
Quickest Aston Martin this morning was Jake Dennis – he will start from 13th place on the grid. Lining up beside him on the seventh row is his teammate Daniel Juncadella, who said this after the session: “It was very positive because yesterday I had a lot of electrical problems, so we couldn’t run the car. Today we didn’t have any issues, we ran smoothly and we did a few laps. So, I’m ready for the race.”
Guest starter Andrea Dovizioso, who is driving the second WRT Audi, is starting this afternoon’s race from P15. An impressive result for a rookie who is used to dealing with two wheels instead of four. His driver coach this weekend is former DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom. “So, first qualifying is done for the Saturday race.” Commented Ekstrom. “Andrea managed to put the car P15. So, I think we can be happy. Still the second run, we were lacking a little bit of timing. We were five to ten seconds too late to do a second push lap. Still, I think we can be happy with this, and now it will be a very exciting race.”
The final three positions on the grid are for Ferdinand Habsburg and Paul di Resta – both driving for Aston Martin – and Marco Wittmann. The former champion has to start from the very back of the grid following problems with his car.
The race will start at 13.30 local time (12.30 UK time). It will be very hot at the Italian circuit, which means the tire degradation will be high.