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Rockenfeller: ‘We deserve pole’

Photo by Audi AGAudi’s Mike Rockenfeller admits that he ‘deserved’ to be on pole position for the sixth round of the DTM at the Moscow Raceway, despite the cancellation of Q4 taking away the opportunity to fight for it.

In an unusual final twist to qualifying, Q4 was cancelled when the airspace over the circuit had to be closed to allow the private jet of Russian President Vladimir Putin to pass through. With the medical helicopters unable to fly for two hours, the officials took the decision to cancel the final four shoot-out.

Nevertheless, Rockenfeller is adamant that he and his Audi team had the pace to take pole position anyway, had he been forced to fight for it in Q4.

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“I’m very happy about the pole position,” said Rockenfeller after scoring his third in the DTM. “At the end, it was strange that we didn’t drive Q4. But up to that point it had been a normal qualifying session and everybody had to deliver their performance.

“The car was great. My thanks go to my team: After free practice, I wasn’t satisfied but we made the right decisions. I believe we deserve being on pole, even though I’d have liked to have driven Q4.”

Ernst Moser, Team Phoenix Team Director, agreed that Rockenfeller deserved to be on pole for the second time in 2013.

“A crazy qualifying session with a happy ending for us,” added Moser. “But ‘Rocky’ did have the speed to decide Q4 in his favor as well. That’s why I think that he deserves being on pole. That ‘Eki’ (Mattias Ekström) is side by side with him will no doubt help us: That’s a superb starting base.”

With Audi drivers thus locking out the front-row of the grid for the first time this season, Audi’s Head of Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich is very pleased with the result.

“The safety of the drivers clearly comes first. That’s why it was only logical to end the qualifying session after Q3 once the rescue helicopter had been grounded,” explained Ullrich over the decision to cancel Q4. “We’ve got two cars on the front row and ‘Rocky’ on the pole position – that’s a very nice result for Audi. If you look at how qualifying developed it’s probably no coincidence that Mike and Mattias are on the front row.”

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