DTM Lausitzring: Auer holds off charging van der Linde for pole

Winward Mercedes driver Lucas Auer took pole position for the opening DTM race at the Lausitzring, narrowly edging Sheldon van der Linde's Schubert BMW by 0.025s.

DTM Lausitzring: Auer holds off charging van der Linde for pole

Auer, who won the opening round of the 2022 season in Portimao and has three DTM victories to his name at the east German track, posted the benchmark time of 1m30.654s in the opening half of the 20-minute session but couldn't improve his time further as others around him closed in.

Van der Linde, who had been 0.25s behind the Austrian at the halfway point in the session, produced two laps less than a tenth slower than Auer but had to settle for second on the grid as the only non-Mercedes driver in the top four.

The South African's late effort demoted Maro Engel to third, the GruppeM Mercedes driver 0.067s slower than stablemate Auer in an ultra-tight session, with Luca Stolz fourth in the leading HRT Mercedes.

Stolz however faces an investigation for crossing the white line at the pit exit.

Felipe Fraga had been third in the closing stages of the session before behind shuffled back to fifth in the Red Bull Ferrari, and will share row with Stolz's team-mate Arjun Maini.

Philipp Eng will line up seventh in the second Schubert BMW, ahead of reigning ADAC GT Masters champion Ricardo Feller in the leading Abt Audi entry.

Top 3 after Qualifying, Sheldon van der Linde, Schubert Motorsport, Pole sitter Lucas Auer, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD, Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing

Top 3 after Qualifying, Sheldon van der Linde, Schubert Motorsport, Pole sitter Lucas Auer, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD, Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing

Photo by: DTM

The Swiss set an identical laptime, 1m31.147s, to championship leader Mirko Bortolotti's Grasser Racing Lamborghini but will start ahead courtesy of posting his effort first.

Three-time DTM champion Rene Rast rounded out the top 10, 0.494s down on Auer.

The best Porsche was Dennis Olsen's SSR Performance example in 11th, as Nick Cassidy took 12th on his first appearance of the season in the second Red Bull Ferrari.

Portimao race two winner Nico Muller waited until the final eight minutes of the session to venture out of the pits for the first time, but couldn't repeat Bortolotti's successful adoption of the tactic in Portimao, and could only manage 14th in his Team Rosberg Audi - just behind defending champion Maxi Gotz's Winward Mercedes.

A similar strategy for David Schumacher in the third Winward Mercedes yielded the 17th-quickest time.

DTM Lausitzring - Saturday qualifying results:

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 Austria Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'30.654  
2 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 GT3 1'30.679 0.025
3 Germany Maro Engel Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'30.721 0.067
4 Germany Luca Stolz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'30.864 0.210
5 Brazil Felipe Fraga Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 1'30.971 0.317
6 India Arjun Maini Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'30.987 0.333
7 Austria Philipp Eng BMW M4 GT3 1'31.118 0.464
8 Switzerland Ricardo Feller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'31.147 0.493
9 Italy Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 1'31.147 0.493
10 Germany René Rast Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'31.148 0.494
11 Norway Dennis Olsen Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'31.159 0.505
12 New Zealand Nick Cassidy Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 1'31.172 0.518
13 Germany Maximilian Götz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'31.184 0.530
14 Switzerland Nico Müller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'31.302 0.648
15 Canada Mikael Grenier Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'31.304 0.650
16 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 GT3 1'31.397 0.743
17 Germany David Schumacher Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'31.437 0.783
18 Germany Maximilian Buhk Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'31.461 0.807
19 South Africa Kelvin van der Linde Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'31.528 0.874
20 Austria Thomas Preining Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'31.540 0.886
21 Belgium Esteban Muth BMW M4 GT3 1'31.575 0.921
22 Belgium Laurens Vanthoor Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'31.666 1.012
23 Denmark Nicki Thiim Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 1'31.799 1.145
24 United States Dev Gore Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'31.806 1.152
25 Germany Marius Zug Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'31.812 1.158
26 Switzerland Rolf Ineichen Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 1'32.220 1.566
27 Austria Clemens Schmid Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 1'32.483 1.829
28 United Kingdom Esmee Hawkey Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 1'33.252 2.598
29 Italy Alessio Deledda Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 1'34.366 3.712
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