BMW might have clipped Audi’s fledging wings in practice for tomorrow’s seventh round of this year’s DTM, but today’s qualifying has set up the grid for what could be a fantastic race among the championship leaders. Oh and the weather at the Nürburgring is as predictable as it is in the UK right now. For those not reading this in the UK that means it’s sunny one minute, raining the next. DTM cars don’t much like the rain. A good race is promised.
BMW M3 drivers Augusto Farfus (Team RBM BMW) and rookie Marcus Wittmann (MTEK) beat the Audi RS5s of Miguel Molina (Phoenix) and Edoardo Mortara (Rosberg) in the four car, one-car-at-a-time-one-lap-only Q4 shoot out and bagged the first two places on the grid. Behind, some way behind, this year’s pace men didn’t manage to convert Q1 pace in to prime starting spaces.
Championship leader Mike ‘Rocky’ Rockenfeller (Phoenix Audi) starts in 11th, just one place behind defending champion Bruno Spengler in the Schnitzer BMW M3 DTM. A little further up the grid is Brit and McLaren test driver Gary Paffett in the Team HWA AMG C-Coupe.
Paffett starts fifth and looked thoroughly pleased with himself and the chance he has to close the gap on Rocky and Spengler. He may yet be elevated to fourth; Wittman was clocked by the pitlane speed camera in Q3 and wasn’t a certainty for Q4 until the moment his car appeared on track. Apparently — are you listening F1 — there is a ‘common sense’ filter written in to the DTM rules, so unless the stewards can prove Wittman was reckless his result should stand.
(Quite why this filter does not apply to little bottles of mineral water being thrust upon winning drivers celebrating in parc fermé is something Mattias Ekström, disqualified winner at the Norisring will no doubt be pondering tonight).
The Rocky/Spengler/Paffet battle aside, you Brits will want to tune in to the DTM’s YouTube channel tomorrow to see how Jamie Green (ABT Audi) in 12thand WTC legend Andy Priaulx (RMG BMW) in, er, last plave get on.
Wasn’t Augusto Farfus Priaulx’s teammate in the WTC and didn’t Priaulx comprehensively dismantle him? DTM cars are no pushovers it seems. Another good reason to tune in tomorrow. 12.30pm.