René Rast takes pole as Audi lock out top eight places in...

René Rast takes pole as Audi lock out top eight places in Sunday qualifying

Photo: Audi

Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s René Rast looked untouchable on his way to pole for DTM’s second race at Brands Hatch, the German’s time of 1 minute 15.134 seconds was nearly three tenths faster than Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Loïc Duval.

Audi cars locked out the first eight positions on the grid, with only one BMW breaking into the top ten.

Unlike Saturday’s qualifying session the rain had steered clear of the 3.90km ‘GP’ circuit, but drivers would have to deal with blustery conditions and a strong tailwind into the first corner. The particularly cool track temperature meant the drivers were running three warm-up laps before taking their first attempt at a quick time.

With track time at a premium with the compact schedule, the entire grid headed out within the first two minutes of the session.

The first competitive time came from BMW Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann, but his 1 minute 16.538 second lap was quickly beaten by championship leader Rast who’s 1 minute 15.696 second lap less than a tenth slower than Saturday’s pole.

As drivers returned to the pits halfway through the session, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s Robin Frijns utilised the clearing track to go second fastest, 0.179 seconds slower than Rast’s time.

With five minutes to go, the 18 drivers departed the pitlane but with the need for a handful of warm up laps they would have only one shot at improving their time.

On his only attempt Rast looked to be pushing the limit, a personal best in sector one followed by two overall best sectors gave him pole with a time of 1 minute 15.134 seconds, the fastest lap of the weekend.

Duval improved in the final moments to secure a front row start alongside Rast, 0.298 seconds slower than the 2017 series champion.

Frijns was improved to hold on to third place, and will be joined on the second row by the second Team Rosberg car of Jamie Green who was 0.785 seconds slower than his pole-sitting teammate.

Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Mike Rockenfeller improved greatly on his 12th place in Saturday’s qualifying to take fifth on the grid with a lap of 1 minute 15.959 seconds.

Championship contender Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s Nico Müller was sixth fastest, and was the final driver under in the 15’s, with a time of 1 minute 15.968 seconds.

After a horrendous qualifying crash yesterday that saw him sit out race one, Audi Sport Team WRT’s Pietro Fittipaldi secured seventh on the grid, one thousandth of a second ahead of teammate Jonathon Aberdein.

Philipp Eng will start ninth, and the fastest BMW driver, after the Team RMR driver set a lap time of 1 minute 16.175 seconds, over a second slower than Rast’s time.

Daniel Juncadella rounds out the top ten with a time of 1 minute 16.257 seconds, giving R-Motorsport’s another top ten start after an impressive Saturday for the Swiss outfit.

Sunday race winner Wittmann would slip down the order and will line up for race two in 12th place, after setting a time 1.162 seconds slower than championship rival Rast.

Qualifying result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 33 René RAST Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 7 1:15.134 0.000
2 28 Loïc DUVAL Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 8 1:15.432 0.298
3 4 Robin FRIJNS Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 9 1:15.834 0.700
4 53 Jamie GREEN Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 8 1:15.919 0.785
5 99 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 7 1:15.959 0.825
6 51 Nico MÜLLER Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 9 1:15.968 0.834
7 21 Pietro FITTIPALDI Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 9 1:16.015 0.881
8 27 Jonathan ABERDEIN Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 8 1:16.016 0.882
9 25 Philipp ENG BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 9 1:16.175 1.041
10 23 Daniel JUNCADELLA R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 8 1:16.257 1.123
11 16 Timo GLOCK BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 7 1:16.274 1.140
12 11 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 8 1:16.296 1.162
13 31 Sheldon VAN DER LINDE BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 9 1:16.396 1.262
14 47 Joel ERIKSSON BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 8 1:16.425 1.291
15 3 Paul DI RESTA R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 8 1:16.710 1.576
16 7 Bruno SPENGLER BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 8 1:16.715 1.581
17 76 Jake DENNIS R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 9 1:16.805 1.671
18 62 Ferdinand VON HABSBURG R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 9 1:16.997 1.863