Marco Wittmann secures pole as René Rast outqualifies Gary Paffett in title...

Marco Wittmann secures pole as René Rast outqualifies Gary Paffett in title battle

Photo: ITR e.V.

BMW Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann scored the first pole of his 2018 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters campaign, pipping René Rast in the closing stages, who in turn outqualified title rival Gary Paffett.

Polesitter Wittmann made a remarkable recovery after a torrid time yesterday, in which the double champion crashed in second practice, forcing him to miss qualifying and going on to retire from race one.

His late effort of 1:33.683 put him just half a tenth clear of Rast, who was a further tenth clear of championship leader Paffett.

This means Paffett extended his points lead over erstwhile leader Paul Di Resta to seven points, with Rast 14 points adrift heading into the deciding race this afternoon.

Bruno Spengler headed fellow BMW racer Augusto Farfus in fourth and fifth respectively, after the latter was forced to retire from the opening race after the door on his BMW M4 DTM came loose and sheared off.

Next was Edoardo Mortara, just over two tenths shy of Wittmann’s benchmark, and ahead of BMW duo Joel Eriksson and Philip Eng.

Double Spielberg podium finisher Nico Müller headed the fifth row with Timo Glock for company and completing the top ten.

Long-time standings leader Paul Di Resta again struggled for one-lap pace in his Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM, and will need to make rapid progress if he is to outscore Paffett in the race.

The title decider at Hockenheim is scheduled to get underway at 13:30 CEST [12:30 BST].

Qualifying result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 11 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 10 1:32.683 0.000
2 33 René RAST Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 8 1:32.737 0.054
3 2 Gary PAFFETT Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 9 1:32.846 0.163
4 7 Bruno SPENGLER BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 9 1:32.901 0.218
5 15 Augusto FARFUS BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 9 1:32.911 0.228
6 48 Edoardo MORTARA SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 9 1:32.916 0.233
7 47 Joel ERIKSSON BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 10 1:32.947 0.264
8 25 Philipp ENG BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 9 1:32.960 0.277
9 51 Nico MÜLLER Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 9 1:32.972 0.289
10 16 Timo GLOCK BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 9 1:33.112 0.429
11 3 Paul DI RESTA Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 8 1:33.114 0.431
12 22 Lucas AUER SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 10 1:33.126 0.443
13 23 Daniel JUNCADELLA Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 10 1:33.287 0.604
14 53 Jamie GREEN Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 11 1:33.324 0.641
15 94 Pascal WEHRLEIN Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 10 1:33.427 0.744
16 99 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 10 1:33.468 0.785
17 28 Loïc DUVAL Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 10 1:33.477 0.794
18 4 Robin FRIJNS Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 8 1:34.695 2.012