Red Bull Ring DTM: Ekstrom pips Rockenfeller to wet pole for Audi

Audi's Mattias Ekstrom claimed his first DTM pole position in more than three years, for what is set to be a wet Sunday race at the Red Bull Ring

Red Bull Ring DTM: Ekstrom pips Rockenfeller to wet pole for Audi

While the day's schedule remains under threat from heavy rain in Austria, the 20-minute qualifying session was run as scheduled, with rain having stopped by the time it started.

Rivers continued to run across the track and it was a conservative start, with Mike Rockenfeller regrouping from an early spin to set the first representative time, a 1m46.830s.

He led the field into the 1m44s bracket, trading times with stablemate Ekstrom, who then entered the 1m43s, with Rockenfeller the first to record a 1m42s lap.

Rockenfeller's 1m42.859s was eclipsed by Ekstrom with a 1m42.397s at the halfway mark, and while light rain returned in the closing minutes, Rockenfeller found eight tenths, lowering the benchmark to 1m42.015s.

That looked like it would be enough, however Ekstrom improved after the chequered flag, taking top spot by just 0.005 seconds.

Ekstrom's 21st career DTM pole is his first since the 2012 season opener at Hockenheim.

Gary Paffett will line up third for Mercedes, finishing the session 0.140s behind the Audi pair and among the drivers left to rue traffic.

"There was a bit of a river out of Turn 3, into Turn 4, and a bit of a river at Turn 7," he said of the conditions.

"We should've been on pole.

"For half of the session I could only do one sector per lap because the guy in front of me kept going off track and coming back to me."

New championship leader Pascal Wehrlein had a late off and was fourth, ahead of Robert Wickens and Saturday winner Edoardo Mortara.

Audi and Mercedes both finished the session with five cars inside a top 10 completed by Timo Scheider, Christian Vietoris, Paul di Resta and Adrien Tambay.

Martin Tomczyk was the best of the BMWs in 14th, one spot ahead of Maxime Martin, while last year's Spielberg winner Marco Wittmann took to the Turn 3 gravel on his way to 21st.

Forced out of Saturday's race with a gear selection problem that meant he dropped from first to fourth in the standings, Jamie Green will line up 17th.

QUALIFYING TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 1m42.010s -
2 Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 1m42.015s 0.005s
3 Gary Paffett ART Mercedes 1m42.155s 0.145s
4 Pascal Wehrlein HWA Mercedes 1m42.422s 0.412s
5 Robert Wickens HWA Mercedes 1m42.566s 0.556s
6 Edoardo Mortara Abt Audi 1m42.659s 0.649s
7 Timo Scheider Phoenix Audi 1m42.849s 0.839s
8 Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes 1m42.853s 0.843s
9 Paul Di Resta HWA Mercedes 1m43.064s 1.054s
10 Adrien Tambay Abt Audi 1m43.155s 1.145s
11 Nico Muller Rosberg Audi 1m43.251s 1.241s
12 Maximilian Gotz Mucke Mercedes 1m43.604s 1.594s
13 Daniel Juncadella Mucke Mercedes 1m43.651s 1.641s
14 Martin Tomczyk Schnitzer BMW 1m43.743s 1.733s
15 Maxime Martin RMG BMW 1m43.772s 1.762s
16 Lucas Auer ART Mercedes 1m44.110s 2.100s
17 Jamie Green Rosberg Audi 1m44.192s 2.182s
18 Antonio Felix da Costa Schnitzer BMW 1m44.251s 2.241s
19 Miguel Molina Abt Audi 1m44.419s 2.409s
20 Bruno Spengler MTEK BMW 1m44.509s 2.499s
21 Marco Wittmann RMG BMW 1m44.707s 2.697s
22 Tom Blomqvist RBM BMW 1m44.830s 2.820s
23 Augusto Farfus RBM BMW 1m44.983s 2.973s
24 Timo Glock MTEK BMW 1m45.348s 3.338s


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Red Bull Ring DTM: Audi's Mattias Ekstrom beats Gary Paffett in wet

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