Audi Sport Team Rosberg‘s René Rast claimed his eighth pole of the 2019 DTM Series by setting the fastest time on a rapidly drying track at Hockenheim in qualifying for Race 1.
Rast’s time of a 1:45.552 was enough to earn him pole by 0.127 seconds over the lead BMW Motorsport car of Marco Wittmann, as BMW failed to carry its Friday pacesetting form into Saturday morning.
Mike Rockenfeller rounded out the top three for Audi Team Phoenix, but the main plaudits were saved for Jenson Button – who was by far the fastest SUPER GT guest entrant in sixth position for Team Kunimitsu Honda.
2019 champion Rast secured his poleman status among a flurry of late activity as the drying Hockenheim surface aided a rapidly changing order, with every DTM manufacturer holding pole at some during the 20-minute session.
BMW Team RMG‘s Wittmann had several spells at the top himself, but could not turn two purple sector times into a time that would have bettered Rast after the chequered flag had fallen.
Rockenfeller’s third-place time, a 1:45.783, was also left very late and forced Audi Team WRT‘s Jonathan Aberdein out of the top three.
Aberdein’s fourth place marks his fourth top-five qualifying finish in succession, a run that extends back to the Lausitzring weekend in late-August.
Loïc Duval went off the track at the Sachskurve on his last run, leaving him to settle for fifth position despite being on provisional pole with less than two minutes remaining.
2009 Formula 1 champion Button used his vast knowledge of Hockenheim to mingle among the DTM frontrunners, initially looking good for a top three finish.
Button’s Honda crew altered the Brit’s tyre pressures before his second set of fast runs, in order to find some more performance from the challenging Hankook tyres.
Timo Glock was another driver who looked in the mix for pole position, but fell away to seventh late on for BMW Team RMR.
Robin Frijns secured eighth in a relatively messy session for the Dutchman, ahead of BMW Team RBM pair Sheldon van der Linde and Joel Eriksson at the foot of the top 10.
Ferdinand Habsburg ended the morning fastest of the R-Motorsport/Aston Martin runners in twelfth, just in front of team-mates Dani Juncadella and Jake Dennis. Paul di Resta recovered from his Practice 2 crash to take sixteenth.
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