Bruno Spengler took pole position for Sunday’s DTM penultimate race of the season at the Dijon-Prenois circuit, ahead of Mercedes team-mate Paul di Resta.
The biggest news of the day however was Timo Scheider qualifying a lowly 16th on the grid, thanks to changing conditions in Q1. The track was starting to dry out after rain earlier on, and with a wet setup on a drying track, Scheider was left helpless.
He was clearly livid afterwards, calling it “the worst qualifying [for him] in years.” He continued, “Today, we made a wrong decision. Now we've got to live with it and accept it. We'll see what we can still make of the situation tomorrow.”
Tom Kristensen was the best Audi in 3rd, but worryingly for Scheider, his closest title rival and team-mate Mattias EkstrÃ¶m qualified in 4th place. He may be 12 points behind in the championship, but a win for him and a no score for Scheider would launch him back into contention.
“Of course fourth place is never a dream result, but it is okay,” said EkstrÃ¶m. “On rain tires I was unable to hold my ground against the Mercedes drivers, but I'm hoping to be able to counter tomorrow. I want to at least finish on the podium.”
Behind the cars who fought for pole in the final session were a string of Mercedes, comprising of Maro Engel, Ralf Schumacher, Jamie Green and Gary Paffett. However Paffett was not happy with his performance, failing to capitalise on Scheider’s rare slip-up.
“I am disappointed,” he said. “My C-Class was the fastest car today, but unfortunately we made a mistake with the tyre selection. I will give it my all tomorrow – one of my two wins this year I clinched from seventh on the grid, maybe I can do it also from eighth.”
Martin Tomczyk and Oliver Jarvis rounded out the top 10 for Audi, but team boss Wolfgang Ullrich was not so pleased with his team’s performance. “I'm not satisfied with the qualifying result,” he said. “Timo didn't manage getting past the first section is a setback in the title fight. Surely that was a bit unfortunate. But for the race on Sunday, for which dry conditions are predicted, I'm optimistic.”