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DTM Nurburgring: Lucas Auer beats Marco Wittmann to pole position

Mercedes driver Lucas Auer beat BMW's Marco Wittmann to pole position by just 0.1-seconds in a thrilling Saturday DTM qualifying at the Nurburgring

In a wet-to-dry session, Auer timed his final run to perfection and managed a last-gasp 1m25.968s effort to usurp Wittmann at the chequered flag.

The two wet-weather practice sessions that had started the race weekend were both headed by Mercedes, but conditions changed in time for the start of qualifying, with the rain stopping and the track surface drying rapidly.

The initial runs were still made on the wet tyres, with Robert Wickens eventually assuming control for Mercedes on a 1m33.520s as he headed Audi's Mike Rockenfeller and three of his fellow Silver Arrows.

By that point, however, several teams were ready to gamble on the slicks - and heading into the final minutes, the dry tyres were now the preferred choice.

Wickens' benchmark was initially surpassed by Audi duo Loic Duval and Rene Rast, before Timo Glock found almost three seconds with a lap of 1m29.278s.

But the times dropped further still and, as the chequered flag fell, Marco Wittmann was now in control on a 1m26.067s - only to be beaten at the last moment by Auer.

Wickens was 0.4s off the pace in third, ahead of Augusto Farfus (BMW), practice pacesetter Paul di Resta (Mercedes) and Tom Blomqvist (BMW).

Audi, saddled with the heaviest car on the grid under the performance weights system, struggled considerably.

Championship contender Rast finished as the Ingolstadt marque's top runner in seventh, just ahead of Glock, who was narrowly denied a crucial final run at the chequered flag.

Mercedes' Maro Engel and BMW's Maxime Martin rounded out the top 10, ahead of Audi's championship leader Mattias Ekstrom and his stablemate Rockenfeller.

Results

Pos Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Lucas Auer Mercedes 1m25.968s 14
2 Marco Wittmann BMW 0.099s 13
3 Robert Wickens Mercedes 0.410s 13
4 Augusto Farfus BMW 0.516s 13
5 Paul Di Resta Mercedes 0.944s 13
6 Tom Blomqvist BMW 1.076s 13
7 Rene Rast Audi 1.094s 12
8 Timo Glock BMW 1.223s 12
9 Maro Engel Mercedes 1.302s 13
10 Maxime Martin BMW 1.478s 12
11 Mattias Ekstrom Audi 1.714s 13
12 Mike Rockenfeller Audi 1.792s 13
13 Gary Paffett Mercedes 1.874s 12
14 Jamie Green Audi 2.144s 13
15 Bruno Spengler BMW 2.238s 13
16 Edoardo Mortara Mercedes 2.370s 13
17 Nico Muller Audi 2.657s 13
18 Loic Duval Audi 3.306s 14

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