Despite their hugely impressive performances in yesterday’s qualifying session for the DTM Race of Valencia, Mercedes drivers Renger van der Zande and David Coulthard and could face disqualification from Sunday’s 45-lap race.
After the pair managed career-best third and fourth on the grid for the race at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, their older-spec Mercedes’ failed post-qualifying scrutineering when their rear wings were found to have been incorrectly mounted.
Race stewards initially excluded the pair’s qualifying results – meaning they would be forced to start the race from the rear of the field – but van der Zande’s Persson team and Coulthard’s Mucke team both lodged protests against the findings.
The pair is now allowed to race under appeal and start from their original positions, but should a final decision be reached that upholds the original decision to exclude the pair from qualifying, then both will be disqualified from the race entirely.
Before this, van der Zande was already found to have breached regulations when he used a second set of tyres in the third phase of qualifying, which was a breach of regulations.
The team was able to argue that the Dutchman had gained no advantage by using the second tyre set, as he didn’t set a timed lap on them. Stewards stripped van der Zande of his flying lap time in the top-four pole shootout, meaning he will now start from fourth place on the grid, promoting Coulthard to third.