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Second pole of year for Wickens in Austria

Photo by Daimler AGMercedes-Benz’s Robert Wickens sensationally scored his second Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters pole position of the season at the Red Bull Ring in Austria with a last-gasp lap at the end of the session.

Wickens had been on the pace throughout the qualifying session, gradually improving his performance in each segment. The Canadian was third fastest in Q1, improving to second in Q2 before finally taking his third career pole in Q3, despite his final lap being slower than in Q2.

Indeed Wickens was one of a few drivers to push slightly beyond the limits, with the 25-year-old suffering a spin just three minutes into the final qualifying segment.

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BMW’s Timo Glock was second fastest in Q3, having looked like taking his first pole in the series before Wickens intervened. It is the second time this season that the German will start from the front row of the grid.

Third was BMW’s championship leader Marco Wittmann. Despite posting the fastest overall lap of the session in Q2, the German was unable to match the pace in the final segment. Nevertheless he still starts comfortably ahead of his title rivals, none of whom made it into Q3.

Pascal Wehrlein was fifth fastest, enjoying his second outing in Q3 this season in what turned out to be a strong qualifying session for Mercedes.

Jamie Green will start from sixth for Sunday’s race, with the Brit being the only Audi driver to make it into Q3. The fact that the Team Rosberg driver was within a tenth of pole position underlines just how close the session was.

Christian Vietoris made it three Mercedes’ in the top eight with the seventh fastest time in Q3, with BMW’s most recent race winner Maxime Martin starting alongside him in Sunday’s race in eighth.

Joey Hand just missed out on entry into Q3 for the first time in 2014 with the ninth fastest time in Q2.

It was a difficult qualifying session for the title contenders, with Wittmann’s nearest challenger Mattias Ekström only managing the 16th best time, the Audi driver exiting in Q2. BMW’s Bruno Spengler fared little better, posting the tenth best time in Q2.

Audi’s Edoardo Mortara, equal on points with Spengler, had a torrid qualifying session with the Italian exiting in Q1 and faced with starting from 21st on the grid.

Also exiting in the first part of qualifying were Mercedes’ Gary Paffett (19th), Audi’s Adrien Tambay (20th), Mercedes’ Vitaly Petrov (22nd) and Mercedes’ Paul di Resta (23rd). Paffett had actually posted an identical time to 18th-placed Timo Scheider in Q1, but lost out as the German had posted his time first.

Round six of the 2014 DTM season takes place at 12:33 BST on Sunday (13:33 CEST).

Top ten times

1 12 Robert WICKENS FREE MAN’S WORLD AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 8 1:25.175
2 17 Timo GLOCK BMW Team MTEK BMW M4 DTM 6 1:25.181 0.006
3 23 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 6 1:25.228 0.053
4 3 Augusto FARFUS BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 9 1:25.237 0.062
5 25 Pascal WEHRLEIN gooix AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 4 1:25.246 0.071
6 21 Jamie GREEN Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 7 1:25.266 0.091
7 5 Christian VIETORIS Original-Teile AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 7 1:25.362 0.187
8 24 Maxime MARTIN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 6 1:25.424 0.249
The below times are from Q2:
9 4 Joey HAND BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 8 1:25.259 0.213
10 9 Bruno SPENGLER BMW Team Schnitzer BMW M4 DTM 8 1:25.309 0.263

Complete session results

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