Paffett outpaces them all
Sunday at Zandvoort brought a premiere. For the first time this season, every manufacturer was represented with one driver in the top three after qualifying. Like on the previous day, Gary Paffett secured pole position. At the dune circuit, the Brit achieved a lap that the competition was unable to match. With 1m30.225s, the Mercedes-AMG driver ended up 553 thousandths of a second faster than his time on Saturday. “It just feels like yesterday. However, then I had two more Mercedes drivers around me. Yesterday, I already said that I could improve another couple of tenths. And that is what I did. Now, I am in the best position and I have a very fast car,” Paffett said.
BMW driver Philipp Eng (1m30.671s) was second fastest. The DTM rookie ended up in the top three in the battle for the starting grid positions for the fourth time this year already. The champion was classified third. René Rast, who laid the foundation for his title win with strong qualifying results last year, only shone in qualifying with his second place at Hockenheim on Sunday so far this season. “That was quite a long drought. I had a clear second run. Yesterday, it was a little bit chaotic in traffic during qualifying. But qualifying is one thing, the race is a different affair. I hope for a good start and big points. When you look at Gary’s time, we aren’t really close. Nevertheless, it was good.”
While Eng shone, his fellow BMW drivers Marco Wittmann (12th, 1m30.955s) and Timo Glock (17th, 1m31.233s) ended up further down the ranks. “We simply were too slow. I didn’t get anything more out of the tyres. I don’t know what Gary has done, particularly in the first sector. Now, I have to hope for a safety car. Gary already did a very good job yesterday, he is running away from me a bit in the battle for the title,” stalwart Glock said. Wittmann commented: “Gary has done a good job. Unfortunately, we have a big gap. On my final lap, I made a slight mistake. Otherwise, I perhaps would have been sixth or seventh. We are struggling this weekend. Now, we have to hope for a chaotic race.”