In the Styrian sunshine, qualifying for race nine of the 2015 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) saw Audi Sport’s Edoardo Mortara take a dominant pole position at the Red Bull Ring, ahead of this afternoon’s action around the 4.326km track.
The Italian set the best lap time of the weekend so far, with a 1:24.714, just 0.193 seconds ahead of points leader Jamie Green, with Mercedes’ Pascal Wehrlein third. The trio were eventually separated by just 0.212 seconds.
It was a repeat of the morning’s second free practice session, with all three drivers again going below the 1m25s mark, as the entire field was split by just 0.937 seconds overall.
“It was a perfect lap,” explained the Italian via Audi Sport’s Periscope channel, straight after taking his second career DTM pole position.” I had some difficulties with my first set of tyres, and we were quite far behind.
“I couldn’t actually set my best lap time when I was improving, as we had to come in. I was actually nervous, but my engineer wasn’t.”
The session was red flagged with around eight minutes to go, as Team Abt Sportsline’s Miguel Molina suddenly stopped in the middle of turn six, delaying the session whilst the Spaniard’s RS5 DTM was removed.
Molina would end up 20th after the conclusion of the session, but may start from the back of the grid, due to a potential engine issue needing to be resolved.
Scotland’s Paul Di Resta made it a Stuttgart second row, as he was just 0.080 seconds behind Wehrlein, with Augusto Farfus being the fastest and only BMW in the top ten, taking fifth place.
The Mercedes trio of Christian Vietoris, Robert Wickens and Gary Paffett would take places six to eight on the grid, making it five C63 AMGs in the top ten with a strong showing.
Mattias Ekström recovered from the lower times to be ninth fastest, despite having one of the heaviest cars on the grid this weekend, ahead of Team Phoenix’s Mike Rockenfeller, who completed the top ten.
Adrien Tambay was just 0.078 seconds off the pace Rockenfeller set in 11th, with Nico Müller and two-time champion Timo Scheider placing 14th and 16th.
Scheider also had his issues, as his AUTO TEST RS5 DTM was pushed by the mechanics to help him exit the pit lane.
Defending champion Marco Wittmann will line up in 12th for this afternoon’s race, as BMW have again struggled all weekend, since their triumphs in Zandvoort.
Fellow Zandvoort race winner, António Félix da Costa would end up behind the Team RMG driver. Former champions Bruno Spengler and Martin Tomczyk will start from 15th and 18th. Maxime Martin, Tom Blomqvist and Timo Glock line up 19th, 21st and 23rd this afternoon.
Mercedes’ Daniel Juncadella was placing as high as the top five in the early part of the session, but he will start from 17th on the grid, 0.657 seconds behind pole setter Mortara. Maximillian Götz starts from 22nd, with home hero Lucas Auer starting from last on the grid.
Race nine starts this afternoon at 1813 CEST (1713 BST)
|1||48||Edoardo MORTARA||Audi Sport Team Abt||Audi RS5 DTM||9||1:24.714||0.000|
|2||53||Jamie GREEN||Audi Sport Team Rosberg||Audi RS5 DTM||12||1:24.907||0.193|
|3||94||Pascal WEHRLEIN||gooix / Original-Teile Mercedes-AMG||Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM||10||1:24.926||0.212|
|4||3||Paul di RESTA||SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG||Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM||10||1:25.006||0.292|
|5||18||Augusto FARFUS||BMW Team RBM||BMW M4 DTM||9||1:25.018||0.304|
|6||8||Christian VIETORIS||gooix / Original-Teile Mercedes-AMG||Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM||9||1:25.134||0.420|
|7||6||Robert WICKENS||SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG||Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM||12||1:25.146||0.432|
|8||2||Gary PAFFETT||EURONICS / BWT Mercedes-AMG||Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM||11||1:25.189||0.475|
|9||5||Mattias EKSTRÖM||Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline||Audi RS5 DTM||11||1:25.191||0.477|
|10||99||Mike ROCKENFELLER||Audi Sport Team Phoenix||Audi RS5 DTM||13||1:25.214||0.500|
|11||27||Adrien TAMBAY||Audi Sport Team Abt||Audi RS5 DTM||11||1:25.292||0.578|
|12||1||Marco WITTMANN||BMW Team RMG||BMW M4 DTM||10||1:25.295||0.581|
|13||13||António Félix da COSTA||BMW Team Schnitzer||BMW M4 DTM||11||1:25.313||0.599|
|14||51||Nico MÜLLER||Audi Sport Team Rosberg||Audi RS5 DTM||11||1:25.320||0.606|
|15||7||Bruno SPENGLER||BMW Team MTEK||BMW M4 DTM||10||1:25.341||0.627|
|16||10||Timo SCHEIDER||Audi Sport Team Phoenix||Audi RS5 DTM||10||1:25.368||0.654|
|17||12||Daniel JUNCADELLA||PETRONAS Mercedes-AMG||Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM||9||1:25.371||0.657|
|18||77||Martin TOMCZYK||BMW Team Schnitzer||BMW M4 DTM||12||1:25.446||0.732|
|19||36||Maxime MARTIN||BMW Team RMG||BMW M4 DTM||11||1:25.476||0.762|
|20||17||Miguel MOLINA||Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline||Audi RS5 DTM||5||1:25.479||0.765|
|21||31||Tom BLOMQVIST||BMW Team RBM||BMW M4 DTM||9||1:25.485||0.771|
|22||84||Maximilian GÖTZ||PETRONAS Mercedes-AMG||Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM||12||1:25.530||0.816|
|23||16||Timo GLOCK||BMW Team MTEK||BMW M4 DTM||11||1:25.599||0.885|
|24||22||Lucas AUER||EURONICS / BWT Mercedes-AMG||Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM||11||1:25.661||0.947|