Assen DTM: Wittmann beats Rast to Saturday pole

BMW's Marco Wittmann sealed pole position for the DTM's opening race at Assen.

Assen DTM: Wittmann beats Rast to Saturday pole

Wittmann's first pole position since the Zolder opener in May came after he edged out Audi's Rene Rast on the first flying runs by just 0.158s thanks to a 1m25.434s lap.

That time went unbeaten and the second flying lap runs were delayed when R-Motorsport Aston Martin driver Jake Dennis slowed to a halt at the Ramshoek bend and caused a red flag.

Once Dennis's Aston Martin Vantage was towed back to the garage, the session resumed and in the final five minutes, few drivers appeared capable of dislodging Wittmann.

Rast's last flyer started promisingly with a first sector that put him in contention for pole but the Audi driver then had a poor second and third sector that left him second on the grid.

Audi stablemate Nico Muller had looked set to challenge for pole until he got briefly sideways on the entry to the Geert Timmer chicane and put two wheels onto the gravel, having his laptime deleted.

That meant Loic Duval helped seal an all-Audi top four with WRT's Pietro Fittipaldi an impressive fourth for his best qualifying result of his rookie DTM season.

BMW's Timo Glock had been Audi's closest challenger during Friday's free practice sessions and he sealed fifth ahead of Muller.

Sheldon van der Linde had his best lap deleted in the first runs and headed straight out following the red flag to set a time good enough for seventh on an empty track.

Norisring race winner Bruno Spengler was eighth ahead of fellow BMW drivers Philipp Eng and Joel Eriksson.

WRT Audi privateer Jonathan Aberdein was 11th ahead of local driver and practice pacesetter Robin Frijns, who had an oil pressure problem.

Daniel Juncadella was the leading R-Motorsport driver in 15th, qualifying ahead of Paul di Resta, Ferdinand Habsburg and Dennis, who did not return to the session following his earlier problem.

Session results

Cla # Driver Car Laps Time Gap
1 11 Germany Marco Wittmann
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 6 1'25.434
2 33 Germany René Rast
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 7 1'25.592 0.158
3 28 France Loic Duval
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 8 1'25.749 0.315
4 21 Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 9 1'25.751 0.317
5 16 Germany Timo Glock
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 8 1'25.853 0.419
6 51 Switzerland Nico Müller
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 9 1'25.855 0.421
7 31 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 9 1'25.856 0.422
8 7 Canada Bruno Spengler
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 8 1'26.004 0.570
9 25 Austria Philipp Eng
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 8 1'26.056 0.622
10 47 Sweden Joel Eriksson
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 8 1'26.210 0.776
11 27 South Africa Jonathan Aberdein
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 8 1'26.387 0.953
12 4 Netherlands Robin Frijns
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 10 1'26.454 1.020
13 53 United Kingdom Jamie Green
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 10 1'26.479 1.045
14 99 Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 10 1'26.487 1.053
15 23 Spain Daniel Juncadella
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 10 1'26.657 1.223
16 3 United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 8 1'26.907 1.473
17 62 Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 10 1'27.218 1.784
18 76 United Kingdom Jake Dennis
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 4 1'27.241 1.807
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