Kelvin van der Linde has taken his first pole position in DTM, setting the fastest time in qualifying on his birthday at Monza.
The South African posted a 01:46:60 in his Abt Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo early on in the session, which proved enough to secure his first pole position on the series.
Van der Linde celebrates his 25th birthday and very nearly shared the front row of the grid with brother Sheldon, only for a late flyer from Saturday’s winner Liam Lawson to deny that.
Lawson ended up second in his Red Bull AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo, only 0.078s behind polesitter Van der Linde.
Sheldon van der Linde was bumped back down to third place as a result. The Rowe Racing driver will share the second row of the grid with fourth placed Nico Müller, with the two drivers separated by just 0.004s.
Esteban Muth once again put in an impressive showing in his T3 Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo to qualify fifth, ahead of Saturday’s podium finisher Vincent Abril, Lucas Auer and Maximilian Götz.
The top ten was rounded out by Daniel Juncadella and Philip Ellis, with Marco Wittmann eleventh ahead of Alex Albon.
The margins remain extremely tight in the revamped DTM, with the difference between polesitter Van der Linde and tenth placed Ellis just over three-tenths of a second.
Behind Albon, Timo Glock qualified thirteenth ahead of Arjun Maini, Esmee Hawkey and Maximilian Buhk, with Mike Rockenfeller in seventeenth the last driver to qualify less than second off pole.
Dev Gore came in eighteenth, while Sophia Floersch rounded out the grid in her Abt Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.