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Wittmann reigns supreme in qualifying

Photo by BMW AGMarco Wittmann scored his third pole position in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters at the Nürburgring, with the championship leader being the only BMW driver to make it into the final segment of qualifying.

Wittmann posted the fastest lap of Q3 in the opening three minutes and remained unchallenged thereafter, having earlier topped the Q2 session beforehand.

In a wet-to-dry qualifying session, Wittmann’s pole is all the more significant as his nearest championship rival, Audi’s Mattias Ekström, qualified only in 22nd position.

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First across the line to take the chequered flag at the end of Q1 proved to be a costly move for Ekström. As the track continued to dry, every driver after the Swede experienced better track conditions, leaving the nearest challenger to Wittmann in the championship to start from the penultimate position on the grid.

Edoardo Mortara was second fastest, the Italian heading up a quintet of Audi drivers and enjoying his best qualifying result of the season so far.

Reigning champion Mike Rockenfeller will start from third, ahead of stable-mate Jamie Green, who waited until the end of Q3 to post his flying lap and his second-best qualifying result of the year.

Miguel Molina completed the Audi quintet in sixth, with Mercedes-Benz drivers Daniel Juncadella and Paul di Resta completing the top eight – the former making his first appearance of the year in Q3.

Christian Vietoris and Nico Müller completed the top ten in their Mercedes and Audi respectively after the duo were the fastest drivers to miss progressing beyond Q2 – the German by just 0.001 seconds. Vietoris had earlier been under investigation in Q1 for blocking the exit of the pitlane at the start of the session, but no action was taken.

The second phase of qualifying took placeon a mostly dry track, with times varying much less than in Q1. Jamie Green setting the early pace, but the track continued to improve throughout, allowing numerous improvements to be made at the very end of the session.

Of note, championship contender Bruno Spengler endured his worst qualifying session of the season, with the Schnitzer BMW driver down in 17th position.

By far the most entertaining session, Q1 took place on a drying circuit which resulted in the times continuing to tumble throughout the 12 minute session.

Out after Q1 were BMW’s António Félix da Costa and Joey Hand and Mercedes’ Vitaly Petrov and Gary Paffett, who had just two minutes previous had topped the timesheets. The Brit’s failure to improve his time in the final two minutes, the result of an off on his last attempt, saw him eliminated from qualifying in Q1 for the fourth time this season.

Top ten times

1 23 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 7 1:22.780
2 15 Edoardo MORTARA Audi Sport Team Abt Audi RS5 DTM 6 1:22.925 0.145
3 1 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 8 1:22.951 0.171
4 21 Jamie GREEN Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 4 1:22.996 0.216
5 2 Timo SCHEIDER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 7 1:23.048 0.268
6 8 Miguel MOLINA Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 7 1:23.163 0.383
7 19 Daniel JUNCADELLA Petronas AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 7 1:23.221 0.441
8 6 Paul di RESTA AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 7 1:23.354 0.574
The below times are from Q2:
9 5 Christian VIETORIS Original-Teile AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 8 1:23.338 0.558
10 22 Nico MÜLLER Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 8 1:23.405 0.625

Complete session results

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