Loïc Duval has claimed his maiden pole position during the second qualifying session, ahead of the second DTM race of the weekend at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
The Frenchman posted the fastest time at the rain-soaked track with a 1m45.766s. Later, race control cancelled this lap time as Duval had cut the corner at turn two and got himself an advantage as a result.
Nevertheless, Duval will be on pole because his second-fastest lap time (1m45.983s) was also enough to top the time sheets. The Audi driver also ended the record run by Mercedes-AMG who had scored nine back-to-back pole positions this season.
Duval is also the first Audi driver to start from first place on the grid this season.
“Actually, I like weather conditions like these. Yesterday wasn’t my day. Today, I am feeling well. Yesterday, we changed tyres during qualifying, today I stayed out throughout the session. We hadn’t expected so much rain, it is difficult to predict what the weather will be like later on. In free practice, we have been competitive all year. I am happy that we now finally got it done in qualifying as well,” commented Duval.
Mercedes-AMG driver Edoardo Mortara managed a 1m46.086s, with Daniel Juncadella, in another of the C63 racing cars’, putting in an impressive 1m46.496s.
“I am very happy, I had a great feeling in the car. I tried to cool down the tyres a bit because the session was very long and temperatures were rising. Therefore, I was a bit too cautious, and I couldn’t start my final attempt. That is too bad. I could still have improved, but I will be starting from second place,” said a delighted Mortara.
Another pair of Audi drivers also made it into the top five, with Mike Rockenfeller (1m46.545s) and current DTM champion René Rast (1m46.635s) both putting in some impressive laps.
“In such conditions, any position from first to last is possible. Fourth place is a good position to start from,” said Rockenfeller. “Anyone who has ever driven in the rain in the dark on the motorway knows what it is like. Here, it was similar, only that the car regularly is at the limit of grip.”
Marco Wittmann (1m46.688s) was the best-placed BMW driver.
The leader in the drivers’ standings, Gary Paffett, ended up in eighth (1m46.774s). “I still have the front runners within reach. My chances of scoring points are good. That is the goal. It will be another tough race in these conditions. We still have seven races to go. Being first is nice, but it is still a long way. Then, it doesn’t matter when you are leading by one or by 29 points,” Paffett said.
Guest driver Alex Zanardi was classified 19th, 4.441 seconds down on Duval’s pole position.