Audi Sport’s very own “Mr. Speed,” Edoardo Mortara, ended qualifying at the Norisring in P4, after an eventful time during the battle for race positions for the 83-lap encounter tomorrow afternoon.
The Team Rosberg driver was showing off his street circuit prowess, especially as he is fond of tracks like Macau, where he is a four-time winner of the Macau Grand Prix in previous years. The battling for position was around half a second quicker than last year at least, with only 2 and a half tenths of a second splitting the top 16 drivers in Q1.
“It was a good qualifying session for us,” Mortara said. “Achieving a better result would have been difficult today. In Q3 and Q4, I had the feeling of having squeezed the maximum out of the car. We’re not completely in front yet so we’ve still got some work to do.”
He was showing a bit of confidence, when he said that the gap is not that much to the sharp end of the grid, and with his team mate, Filipe Albuquerque getting into the top ten, Arno Zensen’s outfit had a good day in the office. The Portuguese driver said that it was tough going all round: “It was a difficult qualifying session. I had a bit of fortune, in Q1 I was 16th, in Q2 I was running in tenth place and in the end took eighth place. The potential is there. Let’s see how the race will go.”
Zensen, himself, is confident that that it worked out in his team’s favour, and is hopeful for tomorrow, especially with a bad run of form from the onset of the season: “Of course I’m very pleased. We’ve got the two best Audi cars in the field. Edo is in fourth place. It’s great that he made it into Q4. I can also live well with Filipe in eighth place. The guys deserve this after the misfortune of the past weeks.”
Miguel Molina has been on the receiving end of the short end of the stick, so to speak, as he sported a new look this weekend, hopeful of a good turn in qualifying, but the Spaniard was to find himself at the tail end of the grid, behind a somewhat disappointed Mile Rockenfeller, who leads the standings at present.
Even with some of the drivers being below the top ten, Audi Sport’s Head of DTM, Dieter Gass, was quick to point out that Audi has been the only manufacturer that has had at least one of their RS5 DTMs in Q4 throughout the season so far. But the team were hoping for more, as a result of the free practice performance Audi had this morning, but the race does bring hope: “Following the strong performance in free practice this morning, we’d obviously been hoping for a bit more than position four on the grid. But lately we’ve been seeing that our RS5 has always been very strong in the race. That’s why anything’s still possible tomorrow – even for Mike. Making the best use of the option tires as well as of DRS will be playing a very important role tomorrow.”
So, it comes down to full concentration, full throttle and nerves of steel in such a fast and technically challenging track, when we will see if Audi can bring home the bacon at their “home” race tomorrow…