Moscow DTM: Mike Rockenfeller on pole after bizarre stoppage
|By Jamie O'Leary||Saturday, August 3rd 2013, 13:58 GMT|
Mike Rockenfeller took his second DTM pole position of the year as qualifying at Moscow Raceway was halted for the most bizarre of reasons.
Championship leader Rockenfeller had set the pace in the third of four scheduled parts of qualifying in his Phoenix Audi, and was set to be joined in Q4 by Mattias Ekstrom, Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler.
However, shortly before Q4 was due to start, the airspace above the circuit was closed due to the imminent flypast of Russian president Vladimir Putin's private jet.
This meant the track's medical helicopter would have been unable to take off should anybody have needed it during the single-lap pole shoot-out.
With a two-hour closure on airspace announced, race officials decided to cancel Q4 and instead set the front two rows of the grid based on the times set in Q3.
Behind the top four came Jamie Green, Q2 pace-setter Dirk Werner, Gary Paffett and Pascal Wehrlein.
Wehrlein had initially gone out in Q2 with the 13th fastest time, but a glitch with the timing system was rapidly discovered, meaning that the German was given his actual time - good enough for eighth and a spot in Q3 - just as that part of qualifying was getting underway.
Timo Glock failed to make it into Q2, the German questioning whether Miguel Molina - one place ahead of him on the timesheets - had deliberately held him up during the final minutes.
Norisring runner-up Robert Wickens also failed to make it out of Q1 while his HWA team-mate Roberto Merhi spun off and clipped the barrier during the final minutes on his way to the last spot on the grid.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 58.423s 2. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 58.604s +0.181s 3. Augusto Farfus RBM BMW 58.677s +0.254s 4. Bruno Spengler Schnitzer BMW 58.698s +0.275s 5. Jamie Green Abt Audi 58.749s Q3* 6. Dirk Werner Schnitzer BMW 58.779s Q3* 7. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 58.831s Q3* 8. Pascal Wehrlein Mucke Mercedes 58.843s Q3* 9. Daniel Juncadella Mucke Mercedes 58.985s Q3* 10. Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes 59.038s Q3* 11. Miguel Molina Phoenix Audi 58.907s Q2 12. Adrien Tambay Abt Audi 58.910s Q2 13. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi 58.914s Q2 14. Timo Scheider Abt Audi 58.954s Q2 15. Joey Hand RBM BMW 59.034s Q2 16. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi 59.133s Q2 17. Timo Glock MTEK BMW 59.177s Q1 18. Robert Wickens HWA Mercedes 59.285s Q1 19. Martin Tomczyk RMG BMW 59.286s Q1 20. Marco Wittmann MTEK BMW 59.400s Q1 21. Andy Priaulx RMG BMW 59.442s Q1 22. Roberto Merhi HWA Mercedes 59.467s Q1 * Eliminated before cancellation of Q4