Philipp Eng took pole position for the second race in the opening weekend of the DTM season at the Hockenheimring, the Team RMG driver setting a time of 1 minute 28.972 seconds to beat the on-form Marco Wittmann by over four tenths of a second.
The sun was shining on the 4.574 km circuit, a welcome change to the significant rainfall of yesterday and so the first few laps were very much exploratory for the 18 drivers who have had little dry running this weekend.
Rookie Pietro Fittipaldi was the early pace setter with a 1 minute 30.677 seconds, the Audi Sport Team WRT driver impressing on his first weekend in the DTM.
Yesterday’s pole and race winner Wittman set the first sub-1 minute 30 second laptime, with a 1 minute 29.734 seconds lap as the first runs came to an end.
A hectic final few minutes saw the pole change hands numerous times as drivers pushed the new Class One cars to the edge.
Audi Sport Team Phoenix driver Loïc Duval was first to improve, jumping to second place and only 0.181s slower than Wittmann as the rest of the field completed their hotlaps.
Meanwhile, Eng was lighting up the timing screen, the BMW Team RMR driver the first to go sub-1 minute 29 seconds with a sensational 1 minute 28.972 seconds with only half a minute remaining.
Wittman was unable to respond, having gone quickest of all in the first sector, slower second and third sectors left him 0.416s off Eng’s time. The BMW Team RMG driver will be looking to take a second win of the weekend from the front row.
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s Robin Frijns will head the second row, alongside teammate Nico Müller, both over seven tenths slower than the pole lap.
The other Team RMG driver of Bruno Spengler rounds out the top five, 0.927 seconds slower than teammate Wittmann.
2018 race two winner Timo Glock will also take to the third row of the grid, with a 1 minute 29.910 second time. The Team RMR driver couldn’t match the pace of his pole-sitting teammate.
Audi Sport Team Rosberg driver Jamie Green showed more competitive pace in the dry, and was unlucky to go a thousandth of a second slower than Glock, securing seventh place on the grid.
Duval who briefly took a front row starting position will round out the fourth row of the grid, a time of 1 minute 29.915 seconds giving him eighth place.
The top ten was rounded out by the two BMW Team RBM drivers, as Joel Eriksson beat rookie teammate Sheldon van der Linde for ninth, the young pairing the last of the drivers within one second of Eng’s pole time.
R-Motorsports Daniel Juncadella was the fastest of the new Aston Martin’s in 14th place and 1.3 seconds off pole, as the new cars slipped down the order in the dry conditions.
2017 champion René Rast had failed to make it into the top 15 after picking up damage to his car running wide at the Mobil 1 turn.
|1||25||Philipp ENG||BMW Team RBM||BMW M4 DTM||10||1:28.972||0.000|
|2||11||Marco WITTMANN||BMW Team RMG||BMW M4 DTM||10||1:29.388||0.416|
|3||4||Robin FRIJNS||Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline||Audi RS5 DTM||10||1:29.712||0.740|
|4||51||Nico MÜLLER||Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline||Audi RS5 DTM||11||1:29.734||0.762|
|5||7||Bruno SPENGLER||BMW Team RMG||BMW M4 DTM||11||1:29.899||0.927|
|6||16||Timo GLOCK||BMW Team RMG||BMW M4 DTM||9||1:29.910||0.938|
|7||53||Jamie GREEN||Audi Sport Team Rosberg||Audi RS5 DTM||11||1:29.911||0.939|
|8||28||Loïc DUVAL||Audi Sport Team Phoenix||Audi RS5 DTM||11||1:29.915||0.943|
|9||47||Joel ERIKSSON||BMW Team RBM||BMW M4 DTM||9||1:29.920||0.948|
|10||31||Sheldon VAN DER LINDE||BMW Team RBM||BMW M4 DTM||11||1:29.957||0.985|
|11||99||Mike ROCKENFELLER||Audi Sport Team Phoenix||Audi RS5 DTM||7||1:30.088||1.116|
|12||27||Jonathan ABERDEIN||Audi Sport Team WRT||Audi RS5 DTM||10||1:30.122||1.150|
|13||21||Pietro FITTIPALDI||Audi Sport Team WRT||Audi RS5 DTM||9||1:30.126||1.154|
|14||23||Daniel JUNCADELLA||R-Motorsport||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||10||1:30.273||1.301|
|15||3||Paul DI RESTA||R-Motorsport||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||9||1:30.403||1.431|
|16||33||René RAST||Audi Sport Team Rosberg||Audi RS5 DTM||9||1:30.568||1.596|
|17||62||Ferdinand VON HABSBURG||R-Motorsport||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||11||1:30.702||1.730|
|18||76||Jake DENNIS||R-Motorsport||Aston Martin Vantage DTM||10||1:31.031||2.059|