René Rast boosted his DTM Series championship lead by taking pole position for Race 2 at Brands Hatch, as Audi Sport locked out the first four rows.
At a drier and warmer Brands, without the high winds experienced on Saturday, Rast’s lap time of a 1:15.134 was enough to take pole by 0.298 seconds from Loïc Duval – with Robin Frijns a further half-a-second off the pace in third.
Championship contenders Nico Müller and Marco Wittmann will start from sixth and twelfth respectively, with the BMW Team RMG driver hard pushed to repeat his Race 1 victory.
Audi and Rast never looked in danger of surrendering their advantage at the top of the standings, as BMW and the R-Motorsport/Aston Martin squad competing to be the rest of the rest in ninth.
The Hankook tyres took a couple of preparation laps to reach the optimal window, as slight rain overnight washed away a lot of the rubber laid down on Saturday.
Times started in the mid-1 minute 20 second range before plummeting a quarter of the way through the 20-minute session.
Rast led Frijns, Müller, Mike Rockenfeller and one of the Qualifying 1 casualties Jonathan Aberdein at the end of the first set of times run; Daniel Juncadella was the best-placed non-Audi car in ninth for Aston, one place ahead of Sheldon van der Linde in the BMW Team RBM car.
2017 champion Rast then found a further 0.5s on his second run and peeled into the pits before the session timer had expired in the confidence that his three-tenths gap to Duval would stay intact.
Frijns just edged ahead of the best-placed British driver Jamie Green to complete the top three, but the session marked a welcome return to qualifying form for Green and gives him a chance to repeat his 2006 podium finish here.
Rockenfeller had to settle for fifth, but managed to improve on his Qualifying 1 pace by seven positions – a mere 0.009s ahead of Müller.
Pietro Fittipaldi made the Audi Sport Team WRT‘s efforts to rebuild his RS5 DTM car overnight worthwhile, after a day-ending crash in Q1, and will start from seventh – his third top 10 start of the season.
Aberdein was the slowest of the Audis in eighth, nine-tenths away from pole position but 0.001s behind Fittipaldi.
Philipp Eng won the BMW battle for Team RMR, while Juncadella rounded out the top 10 as the best Aston Martin.
The two other British drivers, Paul di Resta and Jake Dennis, could not match their Q1 top 10 performances and line up in fifteenth and seventeenth positions.
|10||23||Daniel Juncadella||Aston Martin||1:16.257||+1.123|
|13||31||Sheldon van der Linde||BMW||1:16.396||+1.262|
|15||3||Paul di Resta||Aston Martin||1:16.710||+1.036|
|17||76||Jake Dennis||Aston Martin||1:16.805||+1.671|
|18||62||Ferdinand Habsburg||Aston Martin||1:16.997||+1.863|