Molina to start from pole position into first Lausitzring race
They seem to have claimed the top positions on the timing screens for this weekend: following their convincing performance in the practice sessions, the Audis also proved to be the benchmark in qualifying. Miguel Molina claimed pole position for the first race on Saturday evening.
Fans were treated to a thrilling battle for the starting grid positions in the first qualifying session of the DTM weekend at Lausitzring, where competition could hardly have been closer: with 22 drivers within one second, the DTM shows how well-balanced the situation in the most popular international touring car series is. With a time of 1:17.438 minutes, Spaniard Miguel Molina came out on top. For ‘El Diablo’, as Molina is jokingly called because of his sponsor ‘Teufel’ (‘devil’ in German), it was the fourth pole position of his DTM career. “I pulled off a great lap,” Molina said. “The car was perfect and I didn’t make any mistakes.”
Edoardo Mortara, who claimed third place behind Jamie Green, was also happy: “For us at Audi, things are really going well at the moment, just like in the season opener at Hockenheim. Admittedly, I lost some time in traffic in the third sector, but it still was enough to take third place on the grid, and that with a heavy car.” Mattias Ekström rounded out the quartet of Audi drivers at the front of the field. Thus, the two race winners from the Hockenheim weekend and the current championship leader are also up front at Lausitz.
Three Mercedes and three BMWs rounded out the top ten. The best-placed drivers of their respective brands were last year’s winner Pascal Wehrlein in fifth and reigning champion Marco Wittmann in sixth place.
Notwithstanding all the euphoria within the Audi camp, one of the eight drivers is unlucky: today, Adrien Tambay has to start from the back of the grid, because he is using an engine that had to be repaired. For this case, the regulations include a drop to the back of the grid as a penalty, because all the engines normally have to last throughout the season without any maintenance.
Although a good starting grid position is the first step towards success in the race, points are only given when the chequered flag is out, and many things can happen until then. Accordingly, tension is high when the starting lights go out this evening and 24 DTM professionals are pushing their cars to the max at the demanding track in the Lausitz region.
The full race action is broadcast live on the first German TV channel ARD from 18.00 hrs.