Rockenfeller scores last-gasp Race 2 pole at Hockenheim

Mike Rockenfeller will start Race 2 of DTM 2015 from pole position at Hockenheim after a thrilling damp-but-drying qualifying session on Sunday morning.

Rockenfeller scores last-gasp Race 2 pole at Hockenheim
Mike Rockenfeller, Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS 5 DTM
Mike Rockenfeller, Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS 5 DTM
Edoardo Mortara, Audi Sport Team Abt Audi RS 5 DTM
Mattias Ekström, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi A5 DTM
Paul di Resta, HWA AG Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM
Augusto Farfus, BMW Team RBM BMW M34 DTM
Timo Glock, BMW Team MTEK BMW M3 DTM
Pitstop, Miguel Molina, Audi Sport Team Abt Audi RS 5 DTM

The track started out damp after overnight rain, but with more showers forecast, teams were keen to get out on track as soon as possible as the surface was drying quickly.

The early laps on wet tyres were in the 1m45s ballpark, but Paul di Resta was the first on slicks and slammed in a twitchy 1m42.829s. He was demoted briefly by the Audis of Mike Rockenfeller and Timo Scheider, driving with a bandaged hand after a first-lap crash yesterday.

Di Resta grabbed pole back with a 1m40.564s, with Rockenfeller taking it back by a couple of tenths. Augusto Farfus then lowered the bar under the 1m40s bracket, swapping the quickest time with di Resta, Rockenfeller, Scheider, Edoardo Mortara and Mattias Ekstrom as pole changed hands again and again.

Gary Paffett and Robert Wickens took a turn at the top for Mercedes, before series rookie Tom Blomqvist snatched it. Farfus even aborted a lap that would have been quickest for a second set of tyres as the track dried completely for the closing minutes.

With three minutes to go, Scheider was on pole, before di Resta demoted him. Ekstrom snatched top spot with two minutes on the clock, then Rockenfeller took it.

Ekstrom grabbed pole with 41s remaining, with Mortara taking P2 as the chequered flag flew – but more cars were still on flying laps.

Ekstrom lowered his pole time to 1m34.721s, but Rockenfeller then grabbed it with 1m34.516s. Miguel Molina snatched second, just three hundredths shy of pole, making it an Audi 1-2-3.

Molina will start fifth, however, as he has a three-place grid penalty for spinning out Antonio Felix da Costa yesterday.

Reigning champion Marco Wittmann suffered an early off at the stadium hairpin, lucky to escape the wet gravel trap, but recovered to be top BMW in fourth, ahead of Mortara, and the BMWs of Martin Tomczyk and da Costa.

Paffett dropped to P8 but was still the best Mercedes, with di Resta getting mired in traffic down in 12th. Yesterday’s winner, Jamie Green, will start back in 19th, and was 1.3s off the pace.

Qualifying results

* – Molina has three-place grid penalty

Pos  Driver  Car  Time  Gap
Mike Rockenfeller Audi 1m34.516  
Miguel Molina* Audi 1m34.546 0.030
Mattias Ekstrom Audi 1m34.721 0.205
Marco Wittmann BMW 1m34.968 0.452
Edoardo Mortara Audi 1m35.089 0.573
Martin Tomczyk BMW 1m35.112 0.596
Antonio Felix da Costa BMW 1m35.113 0.597
Gary Paffett Mercedes 1m35.270 0.754
Maxime Martin BMW 1m35.304 0.788
10  Robert Wickens Mercedes 1m35.361 0.845
11  Adrien Tambay Audi 1m35.373 0.857
12  Paul di Resta Mercedes 1m35.397 0.881
13  Augusto Farfus BMW 1m35.446 0.930
14  Timo Scheider Audi 1m35.485 0.969
15  Bruno Spengler BMW 1m35.514 0.998
16  Nico Muller Audi 1m35.537 1.021
17  Timo Glock BMW 1m35.577 1.061
18  Pascal Wehrlein Mercedes 1m35.579 1.063
19  Jamie Green Audi 1m35.817 1.301
20  Lucas Auer Mercedes 1m36.017 1.501
21  Tom Blomqvist BMW 1m36.101 1.585
22  Maximilian Gotz Mercedes 1m36.528 2.012
23  Christian Vietoris Mercedes 1m36.988 2.472
24  Daniel Juncadella Mercedes 1m39.171 4.655
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