Audi also locks out front row of the grid on Sunday
Once again, two Audi RS 5 DTMs are on the front row of the grid at Spielberg. Like in qualifying on Saturday, the Audi drivers also locked out the first two places for the race on Sunday. In the final seconds, Mattias Ekström toppled his fellow Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller to claim pole position. His lap time of 1:42.010 minutes was 0.005 seconds faster than Rockenfeller’s. Three Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM drivers are behind them on the grid, the fastest of them Gary Paffett in third place. Points’ leader Pascal Wehrlein will be starting from fourth place into the race on Sunday. Robert Wickens and Edoardo Mortara, the latter having won the race on Saturday, share the third row. For BMW, things went anything but well in the battle for the best starting grid positions: Martin Tomczyk is the best-placed driver of a BMW M4 DTM in 14th position.
The second DTM race at Spielberg starts on Sunday at 15.15 hrs. ARD is broadcasting live from Austria from 15.00 hrs.
Quotes from the three best placed drivers after qualifying Sunday
Mattias Ekström (1st place, Audi): “Actually, I had a good feeling throughout the session. Halfway through, the track slightly dried out and I was able to post a fast time. When the rain intensified and the track got wetter accordingly, I was quite certain that that was it. On my final two laps in qualifying, I then had Gary Paffett right in front of me, which was my luck. I was able to follow his line and thus had drier conditions. It worked out perfectly and I managed to get everything out of my Audi. In the race, I want to benefit from my good grid position, even though the Mercedeses will be pushing from behind. I reckon that we currently are at the same level as the brand from Stuttgart. It will be a thrilling duel.”
Mike Rockenfeller (2nd place, Audi): “I probably could have done a little bit better. After having set my fastest lap time, I got into a very unfortunate traffic situation. I had many cars behind me, but especially ahead of me. I tried to back off to create a gap to the drivers in front to be able to drive more freely. But that didn’t really work out, so that I pulled into the pits and stopped my qualifying with five minutes remaining. Of course, I am very happy with second place as well and I am delighted to start from the front row. I want to benefit from this position in the race.”
Gary Paffett (3rd place, Mercedes-Benz): “In qualifying, the track was like a river. After the third, fourth and seventh corner, there was an extreme lot of water on the track. Nevertheless, I did really well and I reckon that pole position would have been within reach. According to me, we have the strongest car at this track and we have the biggest potential. Unfortunately, I always had a lot of traffic that prevented better lap times. But in reality, we are the fastest here. So, I don’t have any options for the race: victory is the only logical goal.”