Auer posts fastest time, but Wittmann takes pole position at Nürburgring
For the third time in his DTM career, Lucas Auer posted the fastest time in a DTM qualifying: with his lap time of 1m22.900s, the Austrian was the fastest of all 24 DTM drivers with his Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM, but another driver will be starting from pole position for the race on Saturday. At Moscow, Auer incurred a warning for the third time this season and will thus be dropped five places on the starting grid, in which he will now be lining up in sixth place.
Marco Wittmann, who came within 0.128 seconds of Auer’s fastest time, inherits Auer’s pole position and will be starting from first place into the race at the Nürburgring on Saturday (start at 14.58 hrs, ARD live from 14.30 hrs). Another BMW driver, Tom Blomqvist, will be standing next to him on the front row, starting from second place.
Jamie Green, third and thus the best-placed Audi driver in the championship standings, will be starting from third place for the race on Saturday with Edoardo Mortara fourth on the grid. Robert Wickens, currently second in the drivers’ standings, qualified 13th. Martin Tomczyk, who announced his retirement at the end of the DTM season yesterday, only ended up 17th in qualifying. For the two local heroes from the Audi Sport Team Phoenix that has its homebase at the Nürburgring, Timo Scheider and Mike Rockenfeller, qualifying at the Nürburgring was anything but ideal. Scheider will be 15th on the grid, Rockenfeller in 22nd place.
Lucas Auer, 1st place in qualifying, 6th on the grid, Mercedes-AMG: “Somehow, I seem to have found the trick to be quick here. Last year, I scored my maiden DTM pole position at the Nürburgring. That really was a big moment. But today, we also see how I have developed over the last 24 months. Everything somehow went really smoothly, I knew exactly what I had to do and was able to deliver on the spot. In fact, it was incredible how little stress it took to achieve this time, this result. I have been really relaxed throughout the weekend here and once again I say hats off to my team. There is no way to sufficiently acknowledge what they are doing here. We have the heaviest car by far and we are still able to fully keep up with our rivals. Too bad that I will now be starting from sixth place due to my three warnings. But I am the one to blame for that, so I have to deal with it now. However, I am still on the third row, I have a good speed and all the chances for the race.”
Marco Wittmann, 2nd place in qualifying, 1st on the grid, BMW: “In the practice sessions, we already did well and we did one better in qualifying. I am mega happy to be starting from the front row now, especially as we were still having some difficulties here. The grip level is relatively low here this weekend. We have done considerably faster lap times here and we have to adapt to the conditions. But it seems that we have been working into the right way. Everything is great, especially as Tom is behind me again, like at Moscow. I am also very happy for him. He has become firmly established in the DTM and always is delivering a strong performance. Together, we want to score a good result again later on.”
Tom Blomqvist, 3rd place in qualifying, 2nd on the grid, BMW: “In practice, things weren’t going well for me at all, so it is all the better that we have made the decisive changes at the right moment. To be honest, my lap wasn’t particularly great, which initially was really frustrating for me. Therefore, it came as a really big surprise that it was enough to be classified third and to start from the front row because of Lucas’s penalty. Now, I have to make sure that I can keep Jamie at bay at the start. That would be a great help for Marco, too. I will do everything to keep my position. Currently, Marco is the BMW driver with the best chances for the title. And as long as that is the case, I will support him. We will see how the race pans out.”