Three-time champion Rene Rast took his record-breaking 26th DTM pole position for Schubert Motorsport ahead of his teammate Sheldon van der Linde for Race 2 at the Red Bull Ring.
Unlike yesterday’s qualifying session, drivers took to a dry track surface on slick tyres, even if the sky was overcast above the Spielberg circuit.
The fight for the DTM championship title remained close, as SSR Performance Lamborghini driver Mirko Bortolotti leads on 180 points, with rival Thomas Preining just six points behind.
Red Bull Ring is a medium-speed, engaging circuit with fewer overtaking opportunities compared to other venues, which placed emphasis on starting high up.
Preining’s objective will be to close the points gap in the race, whilst Bortolotti’s aim runs in the opposite direction, to extend his lead.
Traffic was a factor in qualifying, as 28 drivers set their best efforts around the 4.318 km configuration, whilst attempting to distance themselves from one another for their flying laps.
After 10 minutes out of 20, Thierry Vermeulen of the #69 Emil Frey Racing was at the top of the order with a 1:28.312 lap time.
The Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 package showed promising form, with three provisionally situated in the top-five, and Bortolotti putting in his quickest efforts in the final minutes.
During the closing stages, where the track evolution was at its quickest, the lap times began their descent into the 1:27 margin.
Moreover, the entirety of the top-10 drivers’ lap times resided in the 1:27 threshold which demonstrated a close fight where the gaps were separated by tenths-of-a-second.
Schubert Motorsport claimed the front row with their two BMW M4 GT3 cars, marking a strong qualifying outing for the team.
Rast took his 26th pole position with a time of 1:27.671, a record-breaking feat in the history of DTM ahead of S. van der Linde’s time of 1:27.782.
Jack Aitken finished third in his #14 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari 296 after he set a 1:27.873.
In fourth place, Preining in his #91 Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3.R completed a fastest time of 1:27.882, as fifth place was taken by Marco Wittmann’s Project 1 BMW, which laid down a 1:27.948.
Sixth position was secured by Grasser-Racing Team’s Clemens Schmid in the #63 Lamborghini, with a time of 1:27.958.
Another Lamborghini landed seventh position, as Franck Perera completed a fastest time of 1:27.960.
Ayhancan Güven’s #24 Porsche was in eighth place, with a time of 1:27.974, ahead of ninth-placed Bortolotti and his 1:27.985 time.
Dennis Olsen completed the top-10 order after his fastest time of 1:27.989 in the #90 Porsche.
Race 2 will take place later today at 12:30 pm UK time, for Round 14 on the 2023 schedule.