In a wet qualifying, Rene Rast continued his incredible qualifying streak and will start race one this afternoon from pole position. Jenson Button surprised as best of the SUPER GT cars.
The session started on a really wet track but slowly dried in the final stages, resulting in an exciting end to the session.
WRT’s Jonathan Aberdein held provisional pole after the first stints with a 1:47.099. However, after everyone pitted for fresh tyres, Juncadella and Timo Glock were among those to be the first ones to break the 1:46 minute barrier. Not long after that, 2019 champion Rast crossed the line with a 1:45.891, before improving even more one lap later to a 1:45.552. And with that, he took his eighth pole of the season. He held off Marco Wittmann, who was 0.127 seconds behind the Audi Team Rosberg driver and will line up alongside Rast on the front row.
“Very tricky, obviously. A wet/drying qualifying again,” Rast commented after the session. “In the end, it worked perfectly for us. Even though my last and quickest lap was not clean. I had two cars in front of me. But in the end, I’m obviously very happy. I’m looking forward to the race now.”
Mike Rockenfeller will start from third, ahead of Aberdein and his Audi Team Phoenix teammate Loic Duval. Duval ended the session in the gravel in the Sachskurve, causing a yellow flag in the third and final sector. This yellow flag destroyed the perfect strategy of the Aston Martin drivers, who crossed the finish line seconds before the chequered flag.
As we have seen before this season, the Aston Martin Vantage cars seem to behave well in this kind of conditions. Resulting in a 1-2-3 lead in the early minutes of the session. Though, unfortunately, thanks to the yellow flag caused by Duval, the best they could do in the end was the 12th place for Ferdinand Habsburg. Teammates Daniel Juncadella, Jake Dennis and Paul di Resta finished 13th, 14th and 16th.
“I’m looking forward to the race,” Habsburg commented. “It’s the closest we are to the points we have been all season. So, I’m gonna see to try and get those as hard as I can.”
Jenson Button, driving the Honda NSX-GT, ended as the fastest SUPER GT car, qualifying sixth, despite struggling with the Hankook tyres. Nicky Cassidy in the Lexus LC500 and Tsugio Matsuda in the Nissan/ R35 will start the race from the back in 20th and 21st position.
Timo Glock and Robin Frijns line up alongside each other on the fourth row on the grid. BMW teammates Sheldon van der Linde and Joel Eriksson start from ninth and tenth. Nico Mueller, who was Rast’s title rival this year is down in 11th.
The penultimate race of the season will start at 13.30 local time (12.30 UK time). Mueller and Wittmann are still battling with each other to become vice-champion. The difference between the two is 39 points, with 53 points still up for grabs.