Rene Rast claimed his first pole position of the season in a super-tight qualifying session for the first race of the weekend at the Nurburgring for the Audi Sport Team Rosberg outfit, with a pace-setting lap of a 1:22.203.
Rast topped the times with a last-minute effort to displace Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Petronas driver Gary Paffett by 28-thousandths of a second, just ahead of BMW Team RBR driver Bruno Spengler by half a tenth of a second. This meant that all three manufacturers in the top three positions, with Audi beating Mercedes and BMW to top spot; all separated by less than a tenth of a second.
Behind the top three, Lucas Auer claimed fourth place in the second of the Mercedes’ cars, closely followed by the BMW of Marco Wittmann in fifth and Philipp Eng in sixth.
As for championship leader Paul Di Resta, he will start the first race from the fourth row of the grid in eighth behind his team-mate Daniel Juncadella, with Pascal Wehrelin and Augusto Farfus completing the top ten.
The field was as tight as ever and everyone set a lap-time within a second of Rast’s pace-setting effort, with the field being completed by Misano pole-sitter Loic Duval. But due to a five-place grid penalty for driving up the track the wrong way in free practice, it will be Robin Frijns who will complete the grid for this afternoon’s race.
“The last lap was just good enough for pole,” said Rast after Qualifying on Saturday morning. “Looks like we’re back in the game, so hopefully it is good enough for a podium.”
The first race of the weekend will get underway later today at 13:30 local time, where Rast will hope to claim another victory in what has been a largely frustrating season for the defending series champion.