Wittmann on Pole in DTM’s Return to Zolder

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Credit: BMW Press Group Global

BMW‘s Marco Wittmann will start on pole position for the opening race of the DTM Series at Zolder, as the manufacturer dominates in the series’ return to the Belgium track.

Joining Wittmann on the front row will be Audi‘s René Rast, with Bruno Spengler completing the top three.

The German, takes the honours of being the first driver to claim DTM pole position at Zolder since 2002. The circuit also holds great significance to DTM history with the first ever race taking place there 25 years ago.

In the early stages of the session, it was Rast who was sitting on the top of the timings but Wittmann deposed of his countryman underlining the one-lap advantage of the BMW.

The field waited for the final minutes to make their second runs, however with the narrow nature of the circuit meant traffic built up and prevented most from making any improvements at a track where starting position is key.

As a result, the front row was sealed with Wittmann ahead of Rast.

Spengler, put in a strong lap on his final run to take third place.

DTM rookie, Sheldon van der Linde put in a strong performance to start fourth ahead of Audi’s Robin Frijns.

Timo Glock, was able to post an improvement on his second attempt to start ahead of team-mate Philipp Eng.

Nico MüllerJoel Eriksson and Jamie Green rounded out the top ten.

Eriksson in ninth also meant it is advantage BMW going into the race with all six cars in the top ten.

Audi customer team WRT driver’s Pietro Fittipaldi and Jonathan Aberdein start in eleventh and twelfth.

Jake Dennis posted a late improvement to be the lead R-Motorsport Aston Martin in thirteenth.

Loïc Duval starts alongside Dennis in fourteenth.

Dani Juncadella lines up fifteenth ahead of Mike Rockenfeller with the Audi man radioing that he had a clutch problem.

Rockenfeller pitted, but was reported to the stewards for spinning his wheels on the airjack.

Third place man in the 2018 championship, Paul di Resta was resigned to seventeenth after having a moment at Turn 9 during his first run which caused him to lock up and cut the chicane.

Ferdinand Habsburg completes the grid, just under two seconds adrift of Wittmann’s pole time.

The race gets underway at 13.30 local time.

2019 DTM Series: Zolder – Qualifying 1

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An NCTJ accredited Journalism Graduate covering DTM and the FIA Formula 3 Championship.
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