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Nico Müller beats René Rast to pole in wet Lausitz qualifying

Nico Müller continued to have the upper hand over title rival René Rast in qualifying for the first DTM race of the weekend at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, as he edged out his fellow Audi driver by 0.038 seconds.

Wet conditions greeted drivers for the first time this weekend at the Lausitzring, making for unfavourable comparisons with the practice sessions which took place in the dry on Friday.

Mike Rockenfeller had set the pace early on in the session, but it had to be red-flagged after around seven minutes when BMW’s Timo Glock spun on the exit of Turn 2 and beached his M4 on the kerb inside Turn 3.

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The session resumed with 12 minutes to go and times quickly tumbled, with Müller going quickest after 14 minutes with a lap of 1 minute 58.709 seconds, before immediately being pipped by Rast’s time of 1 minute 59.499 seconds.

However, Müller’s next lap saw the Swiss go even faster and he posted a time of 1 minute 57.822 seconds to edge out Rast by less than a tenth of a second, with the German unable to improve thereafter.

A frustrated Rast blurted out on the radio to his engineer after the session: “Yes, but he [Müller] can do! He can do different!”

Robin Frijns put his Abt Sportsline Audi in third, 0.358 seconds behind his team-mate, ahead of Mike Rockenfeller in fourth, who made it an Audi top four.

Marco Wittmann was the leading BMW driver in fifth, just under six tenths off the pace, as the weather turned out to not be a great leveller for the Munich manufacturer’s current woes in the DTM.

BMW’s Lucas Auer was sixth, the Austrian having been on course for a faster lap when he went off the circuit at Turn 9 with five minutes to go, ahead of compatriot Philipp Eng in seventh.

Sheldon van der Linde put his BMW in eighth, making it four BMWs inside the top ten, but the South African was over a second off the pace.

The top ten was completed by Audi’s Loïc Duval in ninth and WRT Audi’s Ferdinand von Habsburg in tenth.

Timo Glock, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM, spins
Timo Glock spun out and caused a red flag. Photo: DTM / wige

The cause of the earlier red flag, Glock retired to the pits once his car was recovered and he will thus start from 16th and last, his best time, set in the opening seven minutes and good enough for fourth at the time, ultimately being over three seconds off the pace.

Race one is scheduled to get underway at 13:33 CEST (12:33 BST).

Qualifying results

1 51 Nico MÜLLER Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 11 1:57.822 0.000
2 33 René RAST Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 10 1:57.860 0.038
3 4 Robin FRIJNS Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 10 1:58.180 0.358
4 99 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 11 1:58.184 0.362
5 11 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 11 1:58.414 0.592
6 22 Lucas AUER BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 11 1:58.869 1.047
7 25 Philipp ENG BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 11 1:58.909 1.087
8 31 Sheldon VAN DER LINDE BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 11 1:58.963 1.141
9 28 Loïc DUVAL Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 11 1:59.091 1.269
10 62 Ferdinand VON HABSBURG Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 11 1:59.313 1.491
11 10 Harrison NEWEY Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 10 1:59.398 1.576
12 27 Jonathan ABERDEIN BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 11 1:59.667 1.845
13 13 Fabio SCHERER Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 10 1:59.859 2.037
14 8 Robert KUBICA BMW Team ART BMW M4 DTM 10 2:00.158 2.336
15 53 Jamie GREEN Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 10 2:00.303 2.481
16 16 Timo GLOCK BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 4 2:00.848 3.026
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