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Rockenfeller beats Wittmann to DTM pole

Photo by Audi AGAudi’s Mike Rockenfeller scored his first pole position of the season in qualifying for the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) at Zandvoort, to pip new champion Marco Wittmann to the top spot.

Outgoing champion Rockenfeller had earlier been third and sixth fastest in Q1 and Q2 respectively, saving the best for last in Q3 as he took the top time on his first flying lap.

Wittmann ended the session in second, just 0.026 seconds behind, to ensure his run of consecutive Q3 appearances was extended to 11 races and the entire 2014 season.

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Third and fourth fastest were Abt Audi’s championship runner-up battlers Edoardo Mortara and Mattias Ekström, who are currently tied on points in equal third in the points.

Rosberg Audi’s Jamie Green and Nico Müller made it five Audi’s in the top six respectively, as the Ingolstadt marque seeks its first victory of the season.

Pascal Wehrlein was the top Mercedes-Benz driver in seventh. The youngster had previously been fastest in Q2, but was unable to replicate his pace in the all-important final segment.

Schnitzer BMW’s Martin Tomczyk completed the Q3 runners, as the former champion made only his second Q3 appearance of the season.

Just missing out on Q3 by less than a tenth of a second were BMW’s Joey Hand and Audi’s Miguel Molina, who completed the top ten.

Brit Gary Paffett qualified in 11th and was the second-best Mercedes driver, whilst Paul di Resta managed just 13th after dropping down the order late in Q2.

Christian Vietoris, piloting the sole new-spec Mercedes this weekend, qualified down in 18th and was the slowest driver in Q2.

Eliminated after Q1 were two BMW drivers and three Mercedes drivers, with António Félix da Costa, Augusto Farfus, Robert Wickens, Daniel Juncadella and Vitaly Petrov exiting. Petrov was more than two seconds off the pace in his repaired C-Coupé, after missing out on second practice as his car was repaired.

The penultimate DTM race of the season takes place at 13:33 CEST on Sunday (12:33 BST).

Top ten times

1 1 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 5 1:30.713
2 23 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 3 1:30.739 0.026
3 15 Edoardo MORTARA Audi Sport Team Abt Audi RS5 DTM 3 1:30.757 0.044
4 7 Mattias EKSTRÖM Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 3 1:30.869 0.156
5 21 Jamie GREEN Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 7 1:30.957 0.244
6 22 Nico MÜLLER Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 7 1:30.968 0.255
7 25 Pascal WEHRLEIN gooix AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 6 1:31.063 0.350
8 10 Martin TOMCZYK BMW Team Schnitzer BMW M4 DTM 6 1:31.904 1.191
The below times are from Q2:
9 4 Joey HAND BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 6 1:30.892 0.179
10 8 Miguel MOLINA Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 8 1:30.908 0.195

Complete session results

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