Audi shines in qualifying at Zandvoort

A year ago, ‘Rocky’ won his first DTM title early at Zandvoort. This time, it was questionable whether the Audi driver would even be able to start at all, as the 2011 Zandvoort winner was bedridden for several days due to a gastrointestinal infection.

Not least thanks to the help from Audi Sport’s team doctors ‘Rocky’ was fit again at the right moment. In the thrilling battle for the best grid positions, he defeated BMW driver Marco Wittmann by 26 thousandths of a second. “We’ve always been strong Zandvoort,” said Rockenfeller. “We know that we’re good here and the track suits me. As always in the DTM, it was extremely close, but I prevailed today – that’s great. ‘Thank you’ to everybody at Audi and Team Phoenix, who worked on this. I’m on pole tomorrow, am set on taking the bull by the horns and winning the race. We’ve got to do our homework and see to making this work out. I need a good start for this to happen.”

For Rockenfeller and Audi Sport Team Phoenix, this marks the first pole position since Moscow in 2013 and the first one for Audi since the season opener at Hockenheim, as well as the seventh one in the DTM race at Zandvoort in the past eleven years.  

Third place on the grid was secured by Edoardo Mortara in the Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. The 2012 Zandvoort winner was merely 18 thousandths of a second slower than Marco Wittmann. The fourth-fastest time was achieved by his team-mate Mattias Ekström in the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM, who, however, due to an unintentional obstruction of a competitor, received a grid penalty, which retroactively relegated him by five places to grid position nine.

The Audi show in qualifying was completed by the two drivers of Audi Sport Team Rosberg. Jamie Green in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM took grid position four and Nico Müller in the Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM position five. The two team-mates are separated by eleven thousandths of a second. Müller had previously attracted attention by setting a best time in free practice.

Miguel Molina (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM), Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM) and Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM) finished qualifying in positions ten, twelve and 16.

“Zandvoort is one of the most challenging tracks in the DTM. Having four of our cars in the top five here makes us very proud,” commented Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “Particularly remarkable is the performance by Mike Rockenfeller, who was sick in bed for a few days and clinched pole anyhow. The new and the old Champion will be side by side on the front row tomorrow – that’ll be a thriller.”

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