Mattias Ekström has claimed his first DTM pole position in over a year, with the Audi driver taking full advantage of changeable weather conditions to claim top spot in qualifying for tomorrow’s race at the Nürburgring.
The Swede had shown great pace in the pre-qualifying practice sessions, and going fastest in Q3 saw him in prime position as the last man out for his single hot-lap to try and claim pole position in the four-man shootout.
And fortune was certainly on his side, with the light rain that hit the circuit abating at precisely the right moment when he went out for his crack at pole position. While fellow Q4 runners Jamie Green and Mike Rockenfeller had slid wide at Turn 1, Ekström stormed to pole with a lap time that was over three seconds quicker than second-fastest man Green’s.
Championship leader Bruno Spengler completed the top-four for Mercedes, while Gary Paffet’s luckless season continued, with Spengler’s team-mate qualifying well down the order.
Edoardo Mortara caused an upset by qualifying fifth-fastest, missing out on a berth in Q4 by mere fractions in his older-spec Rosberg Audi. Miguel Molina took a season’s-best sixth-fastest, while the top eight was completed by Martin Tomczyk and Timo Scheider. There were six Audis in the first eight positions on the grid.
The mixed conditions also saw Renger van der Zande (ninth) and David Coulthard (tenth) register career- and season’s-best qualifying results, respectively, while Susie Stoddart comfortably managed to qualify off the back row with her effort that saw her escape Q1.
Contrastingly, the likes of Oliver Jarvis and Ralf Schumacher were unable to master the slippery conditions, and they were among the higher-profile drivers to be eliminated early on in qualifying.
2011 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters Race of Nürburgring Qualifying Results:
|Driver||Entrant / Car|
|1.||Mattias Ekström||Abt Audi A4 DTM 2009||1:32.006||(Q4)|
|2.||Jamie Green||HWA Mercedes C-Class 2009||1:35.246||(Q4)|
|3.||Mike Rockenfeller||Abt Audi A4 DTM 2009||1:35.544||(Q4)|
|4.||Bruno Spengler||HWA Mercedes C-Class 2009||1:37.144||(Q4)|
|5.||Edoardo Mortara||Rosberg Audi A4 DTM 2008||1:24.374||(Q3)|
|6.||Miguel Molina||Abt Audi A4 DTM 2008||1:24.440||(Q3)|
|7.||Martin Tomczyk||Phoenix Audi A4 DTM 2008||1:24.496||(Q3)|
|8.||Timo Scheider||Abt Audi A4 DTM 2009||1:24.695||(Q3)|
|9.||Renger van der Zande||Persson Mercedes C-Class 2008||1:24.501||(Q2)|
|10.||David Coulthard||Mücke Mercedes C-Class 2008||1:24.525||(Q2)|
|11.||Christian Vietoris||Persson Mercedes C-Class 2008||1:24.549||(Q2)|
|12.||Filipe Albuquerque||Rosberg Audi A4 DTM 2008||1:24.568||(Q2)|
|13.||Gary Paffett||HWA Mercedes C-Class 2009||1:24.644||(Q2)|
|14.||Susie Stoddart||Persson Mercedes C-Class 2008||1:25.063||(Q2)|
|15.||Oliver Jarvis||Abt Audi A4 DTM 2009||1:26.965||(Q1)|
|16.||Rahel Frey||Phoenix Audi A4 DTM 2008||1:27.036||(Q1)|
|17.||Ralf Schumacher||HWA Mercedes C-Class 2009||1:27.147||(Q1)|
|18.||Maro Engel||Mücke Mercedes C-Class 2008||1:27.275||(Q1)|
[Original image via DTM official site]