DTM Brands Hatch: Wittmann on pole in frantic qualifying

by James Eagles
Marco Wittmann - DTM - 2019 Brands Hatch

Marco Wittmann claimed his fourth pole position of the 2019 DTM Series season in a hectic and disrupted qualifying session on a drying Brands Hatch track.

BMW Team RMG driver Wittmann produced a fantastic lap time of a 1:15.564 in the dying seconds of the 20-minute session to take top spot ahead of championship leader René Rast by 0.069 seconds.

Paul di Resta will start from an impressive fourth in a productive qualifying session for R-Motorsport at Aston Martin‘s home circuit, behind Audi Sport Team Phoenix‘s Loïc Duval.

The session was subject to a 20-minute red flag delay after Audi Sport Team WRT duo Pietro Fittipaldi and Jonathan Aberdein left the circuit at Paddock Hill Bend and Clark Curve respectively.

Fittipaldi spun on corner entry and suffered heavy damage to the left-hand side of the car, putting his participation in Race 1 in severe doubt, but the Brazilian escaped from the car unhurt.

Aberdein’s car was in significantly better shape, but he played no further part in the session with a slight knock to the right-front corner.

Philipp Eng was fastest in wet conditions before the stoppage, but Aston Martin’s gamble on dry tyres prompted a constant changing of the standings.

Jake Dennis and Ferdinand Habsburg were the trendsetters out of the pits, with the majority of the field still on wet tyres, and quickly headed the standings.

As the track dried, Dennis was consistently quicker through the sectors and kept on lowering the benchmark through the 1 minute 19s to the 1m16s.

Aston Martin looked on course for a first pole position in the DTM, with Dennis, di Resta and Daniel Juncadella all in contention and heading the order at various points.

Continuing the home interest, Jamie Green also troubled the leaders but could not sustain a pole position bid in the final stages of the session.

Wittmann had timed his lap to perfection, setting his fastest time with just 36 seconds of the session left and having the chance to improve in the face of any last-ditch fastest lap.

Rast was his closest threat for the three bonus points, but aborted his final run after a shaky first sector.

Free Practice pacesetter Robin Frijns almost made the top three, but was demoted to fifth by Duval and di Resta.

The second-fastest BMW belonged to Sheldon van der Linde, who made vast late improvements to finish 0.688s shy of Wittmann’s time in sixth.

Dennis fell away to seventh fastest in his best qualifying performance since the opening round at Hockenheim, just ahead of Audi’s Nico Müller.

Timo Glock and Junacadella rounded out the top 10 – the Spaniard unable to keep up with the fierce pace at the end of the session.

111Marco WittmannBMW1:15.654-
233René RastAudi1:15.723+0.069
328Loïc DuvalAudi1:16.012+0.358
43Paul di RestaAston Martin1:16.067+0.413
54Robin FrijnsAudi1:16.249+0.595
631Sheldon van der LindeBMW1:16.304+0.650
776Jake DennisAston Martin1:16.342+0.688
851Nico MüllerAudi1:16.365+0.711
916Timo GlockBMW1:16.384+0.730
1023Daniel JuncadellaAston Martin1:16.533+0.879
1125Philipp EngBMW1:16.541+0.887
1299Mike RockenfellerAudi1:16.600+0.946
1353Jamie GreenAudi1:16.675+1.021
147Bruno SpenglerBMW1:17.087+1.433
1547Joel ErikssonBMW1:17.489+1.835
1662Ferdinand HabsburgAston Martin1:17.510+1.856
1721Pietro FittipaldiAudi1:27.390+11.736
1827Jonathan AberdeinAudi1:30.115+14.461

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