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Spengler on pole at Red Bull Ring

Photo by ITR e.V.BMW’s Bruno Spengler has secured his 15th career pole in qualifying for the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, with rookie German Marco Wittmann alongside the Canadian.

Click here for the full Round 3 qualifying times.

Spengler had been on form throughout qualifying, finishing second-fastest in Q1 before topping the subsequent Q2 and Q3 sessions.

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“I’m really happy. The car was great and I have to say a big thank you to my team and my engineers because they gave me an amazing car today,” said a delighted Spengler. “We’re really in the game today – I could push like I wanted and the car was just a dream to drive.”

With a forecast of heavy rain for Sunday, Spengler admits that the race will be far from straightforward.

“Tomorrow the weather will be tricky,” added Spengler. “Tomorrow is a new day and we will have to see.”

Joining the reigning champion on the front row of the grid will be Wittmann, who had earlier been fastest in Q1. The MTEK driver beats his previous personal-best qualifying result of sixth set in the previous round at Brands Hatch.

Audi’s Edoardo Mortara was third, unable to challenge for pole after missing several apexes on his fast lap.

Augusto Farfus made it three BMW’s in the top four and was fourth fastest – although the Brazilian never looked likely to take pole position after missing the apex at the tight turn two.

Timo Scheider just missed out on Q4 by 0.031 seconds in fifth and will line up with alongside Filipe Albuquerque on row three, with the Portugese racer ensuring a strong session for Audi Sport Team Rosberg.

Robert Wickens was the top Mercedes-Benz driver in seventh, ahead of Audi’s Mike Rockenfeller in eighth. However the current championship leader will be forced to start from 13th after receiving a five-second penalty for a yellow-flag infringement during practice.

“I don’t know what the race controller is doing but for me it is a stupid rule anyway,” said a frustrated Rockenfeller of his penalty. “It is like it is. If they penalise everybody then it is OK but if they penalise a few then it is a mistake.”

BMW Team RMG’s Martin Tomczyk failed to hook together a strong lap in Q3 and was ninth, whilst Mercedes’ Gary Paffett was tenth after failing to post a time in Q3, with the Brit citing an unknown noise from the engine and a loss of power as the reason.

Several high-profile names failed to make it out of Q2, including BMW Team Schnitzer’s Dirk Werner in 11th and former double champion Mattias Ekström in 15th.

American Joey Hand, who had set the pace in practice, struggled during qualifying and failed to get out of Q1, posting the 19th fastest time. The BMW driver will therefore start from 18th for Sunday’s race as a result of penalties for other drivers.

Also receiving a five-second penalty for a yellow flag infringement after practice were Brits Jamie Green and Andy Priaulx. Both driver’s struggled for pace during qualifying, with Green finishing in 17th and Priaulx in 22nd. Their penalties will see them share the back row of the grid together in 21st and 22nd respectively.

Round 3 of the 2013 DTM takes place at 13:33 CEST on Sunday (12:33 BST).

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