Mattias Ekström in the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline managed to post the fastest lap in qualifying – albeit only in the second section (Q2) of the four-part chase for the best grid positions. His time of 1m 33.294s was subsequently not achieved again – not even by Ekström himself who ultimately, by posting a time of 1m 33.707s, secured position seven on the grid.
Two positions better was Miguel Molina, who in the Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix set a time of 1m 33.572s and missed making it into the crucial fourth qualifying segment by a razor-thin margin of 0.012 seconds. Still, the Spaniard was overjoyed with his own performance. “It’s great to be the best Audi driver in the final qualifying session of the year,” said the Spaniard. “Today, I squeezed the maximum out of the car and made no mistakes. Tomorrow, we’re going to battle for the manufacturers’ and the team Championship.”
A strong form was shown on Saturday by Adrien Tambay in the Audi ultra RS 5 DTM: Second in free practice in the morning, fastest in the first segment of qualifying, and third in the second section. However, similarly to Ekström, the Frenchman was unable to repeat his personal best time in Q3 – grid position eight.
Miguel Molina’s team-mate Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM will be starting his first race as the new DTM Champion from position nine. “My car was pretty difficult to drive today,” he said after qualifying. “Now, it’s important to have a good strategy for the race yet again.”
Timo Scheider in the AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM secured grid position twelve. Filipe Albuquerque (Audi Financial Services RS 5 DTM) as the best driver of Audi Sport Team Rosberg is starting the race from position 14.
For Edoardo Mortara in the Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM and Jamie Green in the second Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM, qualifying was over right after Q1. The two Audi drivers are starting from positions 18 and 19.
“Obviously, the grid positions aren’t what we expected them to be,” said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “The colleagues from Munich were very strong in qualifying. But we just barely missed Q4 with Miguel (Molina). The time gaps, as always in the DTM, are minimal, that’s why I’m expecting a thrilling race in which the weather could play a crucial role. We’re going to do everything within our means to deliver a great show to the Audi fans at the finale tomorrow. After the first three turns, the picture could be completely different.”
After two sunny days at Hockenheim, rainy weather has been forecast for the race Sunday. ARD will broadcast the DTM finale on Sunday at the usual time from 13:15 live on ‘Das Erste.’ The race, however, will only be started at 14:00 local time in order to put TV viewers in the mood for the last race of the year with extensive preliminary reports. In many countries of the world, the DTM finale can be watched live on YouTube as well.
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