Wittmann steals DTM pole as Fittipaldi crashes at Brands Hatch

BMW's Marco Wittmann overcame DTM points leader Rene Rast for pole position at Brands Hatch after a lengthy delay caused by a huge crash for WRT Audi's Pietro Fittipaldi

Wittmann steals DTM pole as Fittipaldi crashes at Brands Hatch

Changeable conditions provided a headache for the DTM field, demonstrated by Bruno Spengler completing a single lap on the wet tyre compound before switching.

But moments after the wet-shod Philipp Eng put his BMW on provisional pole position, Fittipaldi lost control of his WRT-run Audi RS5 DTM at Paddock Hill Bend and slid off backwards into the tyre barrier, ripping off the rear of his car and losing the left-hand side door in the contact.

A lengthy red flag was called, just as Fittipaldi's team-mate Jonathan Aberdein had an off.

The session resumed and Jake Dennis stunned the field by placing the underpowered R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM on provisional pole position after deciding to go on the slick tyres.

With 10 minutes remaining, the field attempted to better Dennis's 1m16.342s lap that had placed him almost two seconds clear of the field.

It took until the final minutes for Rast to storm clear and the Audi driver looked set to hold onto pole with a 1m15.723s effort.

But Wittmann crossed the line in the final seconds of the session and deposed Rast by lapping 0.069s faster.

Loic Duval sealed third in the final minutes of the session and Paul Di Resta placed his Aston in fourth after two quick laps late on.

Audi's Robin Frijns, who topped the earlier practice session, was fifth ahead of BMW's Sheldon van der Linde and Dennis settled for seventh after his earlier efforts.

Title contender Nico Muller was eighth ahead of BMW's Timo Glock, who suffered a high-speed off at Paddock Hill Bend in the first minutes of the session.

Daniel Juncadella was 10th to make it three R-Motorsport Astons in the top 10, with the fourth car of Ferdinand Habsburg taking 16th after his earlier practice off at Druids.

Jamie Green was 13th behind BMW's Philipp Eng and Audi's Mike Rockenfeller after holding provisional pole position at one stage in the session.

Qualifying update

Following qualifying, the DTM revealed that the three best-placed BMWs in the first race "will not be counted for the manufacturers' classification".

This is due to BMW making a request to the technical delegate for the seals to be opened on three additional engines.

It means BMW has fallen foul of Article 28.5, which reads: "Each competitor has the right to submit a written application for a late engine sealing of engines to the Technical Delegate.

"If any such application is approved, the highest classified driver of the corresponding make at the next race following the engine replacement will not be considered for the make classification in that race.

"In the case of additionally approved applications, the accordingly next classified driver/s of the corresponding make etc. will not be awarded any points in the make classification of the next race."

Qualifying result

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Marco Wittmann RMG BMW 1m15.654s -
2 Rene Rast Rosberg Audi 1m15.723s 0.069s
3 Loic Duval Phoenix Audi 1m16.012s 0.358s
4 Paul Di Resta R-Motorsport Aston Martin 1m16.067s 0.413s
5 Robin Frijns Abt Audi 1m16.249s 0.595s
6 Sheldon van der Linde RBM BMW 1m16.304s 0.650s
7 Jake Dennis R-Motorsport Aston Martin 1m16.342s 0.688s
8 Nico Muller Abt Audi 1m16.365s 0.711s
9 Timo Glock RMR BMW 1m16.384s 0.730s
10 Daniel Juncadella R-Motorsport Aston Martin 1m16.533s 0.879s
11 Philipp Eng RMR BMW 1m16.541s 0.887s
12 Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 1m16.600s 0.946s
13 Jamie Green Rosberg Audi 1m16.675s 1.021s
14 Bruno Spengler RMG BMW 1m17.087s 1.433s
15 Ferdinand Habsburg R-Motorsport Aston Martin 1m17.510s 1.856s
16 Pietro Fittipaldi WRT Audi 1m27.390s 11.736s
- Joel Eriksson RBM BMW - -
- Jonathan Aberdein WRT Audi - -
shares
comments
R-Motorport Aston Martin DTM team boss Kamelger rates season 7/10

Previous article

R-Motorport Aston Martin DTM team boss Kamelger rates season 7/10

Next article

Wittmann holds off Rast to win Brands DTM opener for BMW

Wittmann holds off Rast to win Brands DTM opener for BMW
Load comments
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis? Plus

Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions Plus

The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions

The Opel Vectra GTS was the last in the line of the marque's DTM challengers, but failed to hit the lofty heights of its predecessors when financial constraints hit

DTM
May 15, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Plus

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000. Autosport's expert panel ranks its 10 best drivers from the period

DTM
May 5, 2020
How the DTM landed itself in crisis Plus

How the DTM landed itself in crisis

Audi's announcement that it will withdraw from the DTM was the latest bodyblow for a series that has lost three manufacturers in as many years. Some major soul-searching will now be required to assess how it can survive

DTM
Apr 28, 2020
The FE cynic who had to accept change in his series Plus

The FE cynic who had to accept change in his series

DTM boss Gerhard Berger was an ardent detractor of Formula E and was reluctant for his series to embrace greener engine technologies. But this cynic's tune has had to change to ensure the DTM's existence in the future of motorsport

DTM
Dec 13, 2019