Audi’s quattro in Misano qualifying
In blistering temperatures, Audi’s René Rast ended BMW’s 2019 monopoly on pole positions by taking top spot for Saturday’s opening race at Misano.
The German was so confident with his first-run time of 1m25.294s that he remained in the pits when all other drivers took to the track to attempt to better their times. The 2017 DTM champion claimed the sixth pole position of his DTM career – the first since Nürburgring last year.
“I’m very happy,” Rast said afterwards. “It’s been a long time since I was last on pole position. Three points for the championship and I used only one set of tyres, so it couldn’t be any better!”
Audi ended its pole drought with emphatic style, claiming the top four positions on the grid. South-African rookie driver Jonathan Aberdein took an impressive second, achieving the best qualifying result for DTM newcomers WRT. Loïc Duval starts third – the Frenchman was the only driver to improve his time on the second runs, pushing Robin Frijns down to fourth position.
Another South-African rookie, Sheldon van der Linde – who claimed his maiden DTM pole position at the previous race weekend at Zolder – oncec again showed strong pace, ending up as the best-placed BMW driver, in fifth place.
“I’m really happy with qualifying,” van der Linde reported. “I think we got the maximum out of the car. Audi was a bit stronger today, congrats to them. I think we did a really good job. It is my first time here in DTM. I was getting quicker throughout the weekend and I knew I had to do a good lap in qualifying – which I did.”
Van der Linde’s fellow BMW drivers Bruno Spengler and points leader Philipp Eng followed in sixth and seventh place. Audi drivers Nico Müller and Mike Rockenfeller and BMW’s Timo Glock rounded out the top 10.
Brit Jake Dennis qualified 13th as the best of the four R-Motorsport Aston Martin drivers. MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso, meanwhile, starts his maiden DTM race from 15th on the grid.
For Hockenheim race winner Marco Wittmann, qualifying was particularly fraught: he did a sole out-lap before returning to the pits and parking his car with a technical issue.