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Mike Rockenfeller believes ‘good race’ is still possible after penalty demoted him from Sunday pole

Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Mike Rockenfeller was fastest in this morning’s wet DTM qualifying session, but was forced to surrender his pole position due to a grid penalty.

The 2013 series champion set the fastest lap of the session, a 1 minute 50.800 second lap, as the checkered flag came out, but handed over his pole slot to Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s Nico Müller.

Rockenfeller was handed a five place grid penalty by the race directors for tallying too many race incidents over the 2019 season, a decision which, although the Audi driver does not protest, believes that the incidents he was involved in were never serious.

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“It’s a rule, it’s fair in a way,” stated the 35-year-old, “If you look the warnings I got, I think it was never anything bad.

“It’s a rule and race control decided like that.

“That’s why I could only put it on pole, it’s the best position I could get.”

The six-time DTM race winner believes that the qualifying display puts him in a good position for a strong result this afternoon, despite starting on the third row, and admitted that he didn’t think he was going to be quickest in the session.

“We are P6, and I think it could still be a good race in those conditions,” explained Rockenfeller.

“The car was good, it was tricky in the qualifying session it started to rain more again at the end,” he described, “I kind knew it would be the last lap maybe.

“I was actually thinking it wouldn’t be enough!”

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