BMW’s Augusto Farfus took pole position for the seventh DTM race of the season at the Nürburgring, beating rookie Marco Wittmann to the top spot in a qualifying session which saw both championship contenders Mike Rockenfeller and Bruno Spengler struggle.
Brazilian Farfus beat young German Wittmann to pole in Q4 by a relatively comfortable 0.149 seconds, despite the German having been quickest of all in Q3. The result is Farfus’ third pole position in the DTM, adding to a brace of poles he took at the end of the 2012 season.
“It is a dream,” said Farfus of his pole position. “Marco has been extremely quick the entire weekend and we had to work hard in qualifying. The lap in Q4 was really good so I’m very pleased.
“The race will be long,” added Farfus. “We have also seen in Moscow that the race can be very tough so we have to try to set a good pace and get a good start and then we will see.”
Audi drivers Miguel Molina and Edoardo Mortara qualified in third and fourth, with Spaniard Molina enjoying his strongest qualifying session of the year so far. Mortara, who has made it through to Q4 on three occasions now in 2013, will be hoping to add to his tally of just 2 points in the championship.
Gary Paffett finished the session as the top Mercedes-Benz driver in fifth, heading up a quartet of Mercedes drivers. The Brit missed out on entry into Q4 by a mere 0.008 seconds. There was a moment after the end of Q3 when it appeared that Paffett may get promoted into Q4 as Wittmann was under investigation, however the stewards decided to take no further action.
Spaniard Daniel Juncadella took his best qualifying result of the season so far in sixth, despite the 22 year-old having impressed in Q2 with the third fastest time overall.
Canadian Robert Wickens finished the session in seventh, ahead of HWA Mercedes team-mate Christian Vietoris. Mattias Ekström was ninth, but admitted that he felt a win was possible on Sunday, especially as the weather forecast is for rain at the circuit in the Eifel mountains.
“We were P9 at the Norisring and got to the front, so we showed that it’s not impossible to win the race from P9,” said Ekström. “It will be a hard day tomorrow for sure!”
Championship challenger Bruno Spengler had a difficult qualifying session, only managing tenth in Q3, although the Canadian will be buoyed by the fact that main rival and championship leader Rockenfeller could only manage 11th on the grid.
There was disappointment for Brits Jamie Green and Andy Priaulx, however, with Green only managing 12th on the grid and Priaulx once again starting in 22nd – the fourth time in 2013 that the Guernseyman will start from the back row of the grid.
Round 7 of the 2013 DTM takes place at 13:33 CEST (12:33 BST) on Sunday.