Following an unusually difficult time which the Audi drivers most recently experienced in the battle for the best grid positions at the Red Bull Ring, they impressively came back on the Eifel track. With five RS 5 DTM cars on the first three rows of the grid the brand with the four rings has good chances of clinching its first victory of the season in the DTM on Sunday and to recapture the lead of the manufacturers standings.
For the first time this season, Edoardo Mortara in the Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline will be starting from the front row. Mortara, who is in fourth place of the standings, trailing BMW driver Bruno Spengler by only one point in the overall classification, managed to continually improve in the course of the three-part qualifying session and, on taking grid position two, achieved his best qualifying result of the year. I can hardly believe it: we had six tough qualifying sessions and suddenly were running well, said the Italian, who missed the pole position by 145 thousandths of a second. We changed something on the set-up and used the full potential today. It was a great qualifying session and Im very optimistic for the race.
Title defender Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix and Jamie Green in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg will be sharing the second row of the grid. This means that all three Audi teams will each be starting from the first two rows with one car.
The third row, with Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM) and Miguel Molina (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM), is completely in Audis hands as well. Nico Müller (Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM) and Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM) completed Audis strong qualifying performance with positions ten and eleven.
Only Mattias Ekström in the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM experienced disappointment in qualifying. In Q1, the Swede made an early switch from rain tires to slicks, but was ultimately the first driver to see the checkered flag and on a track that was getting faster and faster dropped to 22nd place, the penultimate position on the grid.
When youve got five cars in the top six you can actually be nothing but pleased, said Dieter Gass, Head of Audi Sport. It again showed how good the RS 5 DTM is. That Marco Wittmann is at the very front and Mattias Ekström at the very rear of the grid is obviously less than perfect with a view towards the Championship. But our five guys are really going to put pressure on Marco tomorrow and give their all to clinch the first, long-overdue season victory for Audi. And Mattias should never be written off either.