DTM: Rene Rast on pole for Sunday race at sunny Assen

Feature Image Credit: DTM Media

Reigning champion Rene Rast claimed pole position under sunny skies at Assen. It’s a new track record for the Audi driver and he’ll start ahead of Loic Duval and Robin Frijns.

In a repeat of yesterday, BMW started the qualifying session strongly. However, once the Audis warmed their tyres, they quickly rose to the top of the standings. The Audi Team Phoenix drivers Duval and Mike Rockenfeller had an advantage in the beginning. But, soon after the championship leaders set the fastest times.

When all drivers returned to the pits around halftime, Rast held the provisional pole with a 1:23.258 ahead of Frijns and Duval. Best of the BMW’s was Marco Wittmann in seventh with a gap of 0.604 seconds to Rast. The only other BMW in the top ten at the time was Jonathan Aberdein in ninth, who was the best-placed BMW in yesterday’s race.

With six minutes left on the clock, cars began to return to the circuit. headed out for the second runs. Yesterday proved that improvements are possible later in the session, with Rockenfeller and Duval quickly setting purple sectors to confirm that point. First, Duval improved to take provisional pole with a 1:23.005. However, in the final seconds Rast crossed the line with an impressive 1:22.976, a new track record. The reigning champion will start on pole for the second race of the weekend.

Yesterday’s polesitter Duval will line up alongside him in second place with a tiny gap of 0.029 seconds to Rast. Frijns, who claimed his maiden DTM victory in race one will start from third on the grid. For the first time this year, Nico Mueller will not start from the top three – today he will start fourth. The fifth Audi – another top-five lock-out is Rockenfeller. The German Team Phoenix driver won here last year.

Best of the BMW’s again, is Aberdein in sixth. His best time was a 1:23.411, 0.435 seconds behind Rast. Starting from the fourth row of the grid are Ferdinand Habsburg and Timo Glock. Then, completing the top ten are two rookies – Harrison Newey and Robert Kubica. An impressive result from both, who are seven-tenths behind polesitter Rast. Two-time champion Wittmann will start from 11th, alongside Jamie Green, who was unable to start the race. BMW’s Sheldon Van der Linde and Lucas Auer are starting from the back in 14th and 16th.

The second race of the weekend will start later this afternoon at 13.30 local time (12.30 UK time). It’s still a question if the weather will be dry like in qualifying, or if it will be raining. This will play a huge part in deciding the strategy and preparing for tyre management.

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