Hockenheim DTM: Da Costa on pole again, title rivals on row three

Antonio Felix da Costa completed a qualifying sweep in his final DTM weekend at Hockenheim, as championship leader Marco Wittmann headed rival Edoardo Mortara.

Hockenheim DTM: Da Costa on pole again, title rivals on row three
Pole position for António Félix da Costa, BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW M4 DTM
António Félix da Costa, BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW M4 DTM
Gary Paffett, Mercedes-AMG Team ART, Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM
Gary Paffett, Mercedes-AMG Team ART, Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM
Marco Wittmann, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM
Edoardo Mortara, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi RS 5 DTM
Edoardo Mortara, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi RS 5 DTM

Audi driver Mortara's title challenge looked in dire straits early on in the session as he didn't set a time until the last moment - but the Italian recovered to finish just behind Wittmann and qualify sixth.

Sunday practice had provided an ominous start to the title-deciding day for BMW, with Audi locking out the top four and points leader Wittmann going only 17th.

But it was Mercedes taking control of qualifying initially, Gary Paffett posting the first sub-1m33s lap of the session at 1m32.766.

By halfway point, Paffett's lap still remained good enough for P1, while Wittmann and practice pacesetter Nico Muller sat second and third.

Mortara, however, was in serious trouble, pitting from his first run without setting a time due to what appeared to be a technical issue.

The title contender radioed in: "the bad luck we have this weekend is absolutely ridiculous," and was soon sent back to the track, doing only an out-lap and then pitting again.

With four minutes to go, Saturday poleman da Costa moved up to first on a 1m32.632s lap on new tyres – and improved to a 1m32.525s with his second effort.

Teammate Tom Blomqvist climbed to second, 0.064s off, before Paffett secured a front row spot, missing out on pole by just 0.014s.

Maxime Martin was fourth behind Blomqvist, while Wittmann ended up fifth despite improving to just 0.091s off pole at the chequered flag.

Mortara, who got two flying laps in the dying moments of the session, ended up by far the top Audi in sixth, heading Robert Wickens, Timo Glock, Christian Vietoris and Jamie Green.

Series veterans Martin Tomczyk and Timo Scheider, who are retiring from the series after Sunday's race, were 18th and 19th.

For Mortara to become champion, he needs to either finish first and have Witmann end up sixth or lower, or finish second with Wittmann 10th or lower.

Qualifying results

Pos.#DriverCarTimeGapkm/h
1 13 Antonio Felix da Costa BMW M4 DTM 1'32.525   177.967
2 2 Gary Paffett Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'32.539 0.014 177.940
3 31 Tom Blomqvist BMW M4 DTM 1'32.589 0.064 177.844
4 36 Maxime Martin BMW M4 DTM 1'32.601 0.076 177.820
5 11 Marco Wittmann BMW M4 DTM 1'32.616 0.091 177.792
6 48 Edoardo Mortara Audi RS5 DTM 1'32.644 0.119 177.738
7 6 Robert Wickens Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'32.769 0.244 177.498
8 16 Timo Glock BMW M4 DTM 1'32.805 0.280 177.430
9 8 Christian Vietoris Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'32.810 0.285 177.420
10 53 Jamie Green Audi RS5 DTM 1'32.818 0.293 177.405
11 18 Augusto Farfus BMW M4 DTM 1'32.821 0.296 177.399
12 7 Bruno Spengler BMW M4 DTM 1'32.858 0.333 177.328
13 22 Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'32.888 0.363 177.271
14 51 Nico Müller Audi RS5 DTM 1'32.911 0.386 177.227
15 88 Felix Rosenqvist Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'32.929 0.404 177.193
16 27 Adrien Tambay Audi RS5 DTM 1'32.938 0.413 177.176
17 99 Mike Rockenfeller Audi RS5 DTM 1'32.956 0.431 177.141
18 3 Paul di Resta Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'32.990 0.465 177.077
19 100 Martin Tomczyk BMW M4 DTM 1'33.002 0.477 177.054
20 10 Timo Scheider Audi RS5 DTM 1'33.007 0.482 177.044
21 12 Daniel Juncadella Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'33.059 0.534 176.945
22 17 Miguel Molina Audi RS5 DTM 1'33.082 0.557 176.902
23 72 René Rast Audi RS5 DTM 1'33.158 0.633 176.757
24 84 Maximilian Götz Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'33.280 0.755 176.526

 

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