Philipp Eng heads an all-BMW front row for today’s second DTM race at Hockenheim, ahead of Marco Wittmann and Audi’s Robin Frijns.
On a dry, sunny – but cold day, the team RMR driver headed yesterday’s race winner Wittmann with a late run that capitalised on improving track conditions, to earn pole by four tenths.
Wittmann had, for the most part, been the star of the qualifying and spent much of the session at the top of the standings, but once Eng jumped to lead of the times with a 1:28.972, Wittmann could take any more out of his BMW stablemate.
The pole gives Eng his first points of the season and came as a pleasant surprise for a driver who sat out second free practice and yesterday’s qualifying session, following issues with his new-spec M4 DTM.
Frijns ended the session some eight-tenths shy of the pole in his Audi RS5 DTM, but he led a close knit fight, with only half-a-second covering the next twelve drivers. Frijns has Audi teammate Nico Müller next to him on row two
Row three was an all-BMW affair with Bruno Spengler heading former-F1 driver Timo Glock, Jamie Green and Loïc Duval made the most of conditions to place their Audi’s 7th and 8th respectively.
Joel Ericsson and Sheldon van der Linde secured row five in the BMW machines, ahead of Audi duo Mike Rockenfeller and Jonathan Aberdein; however Pietro Fittipaldi recorded the 13th quickest time in his WRT-Audi entry.
It was a difficult session for Rene Rast in the remaining Audi. The former champion ran wide over a kerb through the stadium section and hit a kerb hard, propelling the front of his RS5 into the air briefly, before coming down hard on his front end. He could not improve and ended the session 16th.
This dry qualifying session proved to be a rude awakening for the new R-Motorsport team with their quartet of Aston Martin Vantage DTMs. In dry conditions, the team could do no better than 14th (Dani Juncadella), 15th (Paul di Resta), 17th (Ferdinand Habsburg) and 18th (Jake Dennis).