DTM Spa: Olsen takes Porsche's first pole as title contenders struggle

Dennis Olsen led a front row lockout for Porsche in DTM qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, as championship protagonists Sheldon van der Linde and Mirko Bortolotti struggled to 22nd and 20th respectively.

DTM Spa: Olsen takes Porsche's first pole as title contenders struggle

Reigning champion Maximilian Gotz led the 20-minute session after the opening runs on the wet track that returned to the calendar after a year's absence, the Winward Mercedes driver setting a benchmark time of 2m30.800s.

This put him just 0.007s ahead of SSR Performance Porsche driver Olsen, with Gotz's team-mate Lucas Auer adrift by exactly the same margin in third in Winward’s second AMG GT3.

However, while Gotz failed to improve his laptime in the second part of qualifying even as the track started to dry out, several others were able to make marginal gains to demote the German driver from the top spot on the leaderboard.

Practice pacesetter Thomas Preining was the first driver to push Gotz off the top spot and move to the front, clocking a time of 2m30.634s in the Team Bernhard 75 Porsche 911 GT3 R.

But the honour of scoring Stuttgart marque’s first pole in the DTM instead went to Olsen, the Norwegian posting a 2m30.488s lap just seconds later.

With Dev Gore beaching his Team Rosberg Audi at Bruxelles in the final minute and prompting a yellow flag, no one could improve significantly enough to deny Olsen from becoming the ninth different driver to score a pole this season.

This meant Preining settled for second, 0.146s behind his Porsche stablemate, while Auer claimed the third spot on the grid after overhauling Gotz’s previous benchmark by just 0.121s.

Pole sitter Dennis Olsen, SSR Performance

Pole sitter Dennis Olsen, SSR Performance

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Laurens Vanthoor backed up the results of his Porsche squadmates by leaping up to fifth late in qualifying in the second of the two SSR 911s.

Maro Engel was sixth-fastest in the lead GruppeM Mercedes, while David Schumacher secured his best qualifying result of the season in seventh and ensured all three cars from Winward were inside the top 10.

Kelvin van der Linde was Audi’s top qualifier in eighth despite prompting a FCY when he beached his Team Abt R8 LMS GT3 after clipping the wet kerbs at Pouhon.

Van der Linde’s car was dragged back to the track with the help of a service vehicle with nine minutes still to run, allowing him to finish the session and set a time of 2m31.233s.

Red Bull’s Felipe Fraga qualified 0.760s off the pace in ninth in the top AF Corse-run Ferrari, while the top 10 was rounded out by Nico Muller’s Team Rosberg Audi.

Team Abt’s lead title contender Rene Rast qualified just behind Muller in 11th and with a strong chance of making ground on his championship rivals, who all qualified out of position.

Grasser Lamborghini’s Bortolotti ended up a distant 20th with a time that was over two seconds off the pace, while points leader Sheldon van der Linde couldn’t fare any better in 22nd in his Schubert BMW.

DTM Spa Qualifying Results

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 Norway Dennis Olsen Porsche 911 GT3 R 2'30.488  
2 Austria Thomas Preining Porsche 911 GT3 R 2'30.634 0.146
3 Austria Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 2'30.679 0.191
4 Germany Maximilian Götz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 2'30.800 0.312
5 Belgium Laurens Vanthoor Porsche 911 GT3 R 2'30.923 0.435
6 Germany Maro Engel Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 2'31.054 0.566
7 Germany David Schumacher Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 2'31.087 0.599
8 South Africa Kelvin van der Linde Audi R8 LMS Evo II 2'31.233 0.745
9 Brazil Felipe Fraga Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 2'31.248 0.760
10 Switzerland Nico Müller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 2'31.335 0.847
11 Germany René Rast Audi R8 LMS Evo II 2'31.521 1.033
12 New Zealand Nick Cassidy Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 2'31.809 1.321
13 India Arjun Maini Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 2'32.037 1.549
14 Switzerland Ricardo Feller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 2'32.095 1.607
15 Germany Luca Stolz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 2'32.247 1.759
16 Germany Maximilian Buhk Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 2'32.259 1.771
17 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 GT3 2'32.262 1.774
18 Belgium Esteban Muth BMW M4 GT3 2'32.534 2.046
19 Austria Clemens Schmid Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2'32.638 2.150
20 Italy Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2'32.682 2.194
21 Canada Mikael Grenier Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 2'32.887 2.399
22 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 GT3 2'33.138 2.650
23 Austria Philipp Eng BMW M4 GT3 2'33.183 2.695
24 Switzerland Rolf Ineichen Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2'33.756 3.268
25 Germany Marius Zug Audi R8 LMS Evo II 2'33.875 3.387
26 United States Dev Gore Audi R8 LMS Evo II 2'34.505 4.017
27 Italy Alessio Deledda Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2'36.511 6.023
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DTM racer Kelvin van der Linde keen to “broaden horizons” beyond GT3
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