A short red flag period, caused by Timo Glock, mixed up teams’ strategies in today’s qualifying session. Rene Rast takes the glory, claiming pole position.
Rene Rast is continuing to have a fantastic weekend. Following yesterday’s last-to-first victory it’s time to celebrate once again thanks to a pole position. After being in and around the top five for most of the session, it wasn’t until 30 seconds before the chequered flag that he set his best time. A 46.146s which is good enough to top Nico Mueller’s pole time of yesterday. And good enough to be the fastest ever lap around the Norisring.
“Very happy obviously” is what the pole man said after the session. He continued: “I’ve never been on pole at the Norisring in a DTM car. Yesterday’s qualifying was a bit tough, today was a lot smoother, and the pace was good. Thanks to my team for the outstanding job again. Looking forward to the race.”
Five minutes into the session, once most of the drivers set a time, qualifying got red flagged as Timo Glock had come to a stop coming out of the chicane. After a five minute break, the session resumed. This brought out different strategies up the pitlane as some went out right away, and some stayed in their boxes.
Nico Mueller was among those who went out immediately. He set a time that was quicker than Loic Duval’s, who was in the first position before the red flag. From that moment on, it was a battle between Mueller and Jamie Green as they beat each other’s times. In the final stages of the session, Green thought his time – a 46.153 – was enough for pole until Rast beat him by 0.007s. This is the closest ever qualifying result here, as the gap between first to fifth is only 0.046s.
The first BMW in the pack qualified fifth – Philipp Eng. Joining him on the third row of the grid is Mike Rockenfeller. The German Audi driver had a successful Friday here with setting the best time of the day. However, yesterday he had a run of bad luck. He was excluded from qualifying and later in the race, he was forced to retire. Speaking about, he hopes today will be better.
Following them from seventh to ninth, are another trio of BMW drivers: Bruno Spengler, Sheldon van der Linde, and Marco Wittmann. WRT’s Jonathan Aberdein will start the race from tenth.
R-Motorsport had a successful day yesterday, finishing with three cars in the points. Though they still seem to struggle a bit in qualifying. Best of the four is Daniel Juncadella in 13th. Right behind him in 14th and 15th are Paul di Resta and Ferdinand Habsburg. Pietro Fittipaldi, Jake Dennis, and Timo Glock will start the race from the final three places on the grid.
UPDATE: Jamie Green, Mike Rockenfeller and Jake Dennis will be relegated by five positions. They lose their second, sixth and seventeenth place respectively. All three exceeded the 80kph maximum during the red flag.
Rast adds another three points to his account for taking pole position. Though, he may be able to add more as we have another race coming up at 13.33 local time (12.33 UK time).