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Qualifying report
DTM Oschersleben

DTM Oschersleben: Preining on pole as Porsche dominates Sunday qualifying

Thomas Preining claimed his maiden DTM pole in Sunday’s qualifying session at Oschersleben, as Porsche grabbed five of the top seven spots on the grid.

Thomas Preining, Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3-R

Manthey EMA driver Preining topped the 20-minute session with a time of 1m21.347s, beating the similar Porsche 911 GT3 R of Toksport WRT driver Tim Heinemann by 0.055 seconds to pole in a somewhat anticlimactic end to qualifying.

It marked Preining’s first pole in DTM in 18 attempts, the Austrian having never started higher than second on the grid despite scoring two wins in his rookie campaign last year - including the very first for Porsche as a manufacturer.

Preining first moved to the top of the timesheets with three minutes to go when he set a time of 1m21.370s, which was identical to the lap with which SSR Lamborghini racer Franck Perera claimed pole on Saturday.

This benchmark would have proven good enough for pole, but the 24-year-old managed to lower that further on his next attempt, making a small but significant 0.053s improvement to seal the top spot on the grid for Sunday's second race of the season.

Almost all drivers had completed their final flying laps before the clock hit zero, a major departure from the usual pattern of drivers leaving it as late as possible to set their quickest times in order to take advantage of track evolution.

This meant Preining was already back in the pitlane when he was told over radio that he had secured pole.

Race one runner-up Heinemann took second on the grid to follow up on his impressive series debut on Saturday, while Clemens Schmid was a surprise third in the Grasser Racing Lamborghini and just 0.089s off pole.

Factory Lamborghini driver Mirko Bortolotti was not far behind in fourth in the top SSR Huracan GT3, while Dennis Olsen was a tenth adrift in the second of the two Manthey EMA Porsches.

Tim Heinemann, Toksport WRT Porsche 911 GT3-R

Tim Heinemann, Toksport WRT Porsche 911 GT3-R

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Ayhancan Guven qualified a strong sixth for Team Bernhard Porsche, while works driver Christian Engelhart jumped to seventh late on in his Toksport WRT Porsche with a 1m21.651s.

Mercedes enjoyed a far better showing after a nightmare start to the season on Saturday, with Landgraf driver Maro Engel qualifying just 0.318s off the pace in eighth ahead of team-mate Jusuf Owega and fellow AMG racer Lucas Auer (Winward).

Three-time DTM champion Rene Rast was once again BMW’s best qualifier, putting his Schubert Motorsport M4 GT3 11th on the grid with a time that was just 0.339s off Preining’s pole lap.

The two Abt Sportline Audis qualified 13th and 14th behind debutant Mick Wishofer’s Grasser Lamborghini, with Ricardo Feller edging out team-mate Kelvin van der Linde by just under a tenth of a second.

Reigning champion Sheldon van der Linde’s woes continued as he finished a distant 15th in his Schubert BMW, 0.518s off the best lap in qualifying.

Ferrari drivers also endured a troubled qualifying session, with Jack Aitken only 17th for Emil Frey after qualifying on the front row and finishing on the podium in Saturday’s opener won by Perera.

The Frenchman also struggled, en route to 18th in qualifying.

DTM Oschersleben Qualifying results:

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 Austria Thomas Preining Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'21.347  
2 Tim Heinemann Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'21.402 0.055
3 Austria Clemens Schmid Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 1'21.436 0.089
4 Italy Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 1'21.450 0.103
5 Norway Dennis Olsen Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'21.573 0.226
6 Turkey Ayhancan Güven Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'21.581 0.234
7 Germany Christian Engelhart Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'21.651 0.304
8 Germany Maro Engel Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'21.665 0.318
9 Jusuf Owega Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'21.670 0.323
10 Austria Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'21.673 0.326
11 Germany René Rast BMW M4 GT3 1'21.686 0.339
12 Austria Mick Wishofer Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 1'21.696 0.349
13 Switzerland Ricardo Feller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'21.698 0.351
14 South Africa Kelvin van der Linde Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'21.786 0.439
15 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 GT3 1'21.865 0.518
16 Germany David Schumacher Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'21.868 0.521
17 United Kingdom Jack Aitken Ferrari 296 GT3 1'21.924 0.577
18 Frank Perera Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 1'21.925 0.578
19 Thierry Vermeulen Ferrari 296 GT3 1'21.959 0.612
20 Switzerland Patric Niederhauser Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'22.040 0.693
21 Germany Laurin Heinrich Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'22.049 0.702
22 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 GT3 1'22.057 0.710
23 Germany Luca Stolz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'22.180 0.833
24 India Arjun Maini Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'22.203 0.856
25 Germany Luca Engstler Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'22.264 0.917
26 Italy Mattia Drudi Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'22.295 0.948
27 Italy Alessio Deledda Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 1'23.021 1.674

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