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Qualifying report
DTM Oschersleben

DTM Oschersleben: Perera puts Lamborghini on pole, Aitken second

Lamborghini factory driver Franck Perera claimed pole position for the opening race of the 2023 DTM season at Oschersleben, as Jack Aitken qualified on the front row for his debut.

Franck Perera, SSR Performance Lamborghini Huracán EVO GT3

Perera set a lap of 1m21.370s in his SSR Performance Lamborghini Huracan GT3 on the DTM’s first visit to Oschersleben since 2015, beating Aitken's Emil Frey Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 to pole by just 0.018s in a closely-contested qualifying.

Lamborghini drivers held the top spot for much of the 20-minute qualifying, with Alessio Deledda setting the early pace in his Grasser Racing example with a time of 1m22.818s.

Aitken ended Lamborghini’s reign briefly when he went to the top with a 1m21.745s flyer with six minutes remaining, but Perera put the Italian marque back ahead almost immediately afterwards with a 1m21.601s despite running wide at the final corner.

Perera, who qualified fourth on his sole previous DTM outing in a cameo at the Norisring last year, then found yet more time in the closing minutes of the session to nail pole with a final effort of 1m21.370s.

One-time Formula 1 race starter Aitken improved to 1m21.388s in the final minutes of the session to qualify a strong second on his and Emil Frey's first outing, outpacing Perera’s team-mate and fellow Lambo factory driver Mirko Bortolotti by 0.038s.

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Debutant Mick Wishofer made it three cars from Lamborghini’s stable inside the top four, the Grasser Racing driver qualifying fourth and just over a tenth of a second slower than Perera.

Fifth place in qualifying went to the Abt Sportsline Audi of works driver Ricardo Feller, with Porsche ace Thomas Preining ending up sixth in the Manthey EMA Porsche with an identical time to the Swiss.

Two-time DTM Trophy champion Tim Heinemann qualified seventh on his step up to DTM with Porsche outfit Toksport WRT, beating the Schubert BMW of three-time champion Rene Rast.

Pole sitter Franck Perera, SSR Performance

Pole sitter Franck Perera, SSR Performance

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Rast, competing in BMW colours for the first time in the DTM after his switch from Audi, set a best time of 1m21.577s to qualify eighth overall and first among the BMW contingent.

His team-mate and reigning champion Sheldon van der Linde qualified a frustrating 19th after setting the pace in Friday practice, while Marco Wittmann was even further behind in 21st in his BMW entered by series newcomer Project 1.

Behind Rast, Laurin Henrich was ninth-fastest in the Team Bernhard Porsche, while Kelvin van der Linde completed the top 10 for Abt Sportsline Audi.

Mercedes endured a woeful qualifying session at Oschersleben, with Winward driver David Schumacher the best of the six-strong AMG contingent in 16th position, albeit with a time that was less than half a second off pole position.

Lucas Auer, returning to racing this weekend following a fracture in Daytona 24 Hours in January, could only set a time good enough for 18th in the sister Winward AMG GT3.

DTM Oschersleben qualifying results:

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 Frank Perera Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 1'21.370  
2 United Kingdom Jack Aitken Ferrari 296 GT3 1'21.388 0.018
3 Italy Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 1'21.426 0.056
4 Austria Mick Wishofer Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 1'21.485 0.115
5 Switzerland Ricardo Feller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'21.493 0.123
6 Austria Thomas Preining Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'21.493 0.123
7 Tim Heinemann Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'21.500 0.130
8 Germany René Rast BMW M4 GT3 1'21.577 0.207
9 Germany Laurin Heinrich Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'21.623 0.253
10 South Africa Kelvin van der Linde Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'21.639 0.269
11 Norway Dennis Olsen Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'21.639 0.269
12 Austria Clemens Schmid Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 1'21.656 0.286
13 Germany Christian Engelhart Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'21.745 0.375
14 Thierry Vermeulen Ferrari 296 GT3 1'21.755 0.385
15 Turkey Ayhancan Güven Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'21.808 0.438
16 Germany David Schumacher Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'21.841 0.471
17 Jusuf Owega Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'21.878 0.508
18 Austria Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'21.910 0.540
19 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 GT3 1'21.914 0.544
20 Germany Maro Engel Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'21.943 0.573
21 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 GT3 1'21.948 0.578
22 Switzerland Patric Niederhauser Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'21.954 0.584
23 Germany Luca Engstler Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'22.000 0.630
24 India Arjun Maini Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'22.107 0.737
25 Germany Luca Stolz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'22.463 1.093
26 Italy Mattia Drudi Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'22.546 1.176
27 Italy Alessio Deledda Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 1'22.784 1.414

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