Wittmann beats Rast in frantic Saturday qualifying at Brands Hatch

Marco Wittmann has taken pole position for the Saturday DTM race at Brands Hatch. The German beat out compatriot and rival Rene Rast by 0.069s in a frantic session that involved rain, a drying track and a red flag.

The session was red flagged early on when both Jonathan Aberdein and Pietro Fittipaldi crashed their Team WRT Audi RS5 DTMs at Clearways. First, Aberdein went for a relatively harmless trip through the gravel and into the tyre barrier but was soon followed by his Brazilian team-mate in a much more serious manner.

Fittipaldi lost the rear end of his #21 Audi in the corner and slid into the gravel at speed, crashing rear-first into the barrier, wrecking his car in the process. Both Fittipaldi and Aberdein were unharmed.

When the session resumed, drivers were faced with the prospect of choosing between dry and rain tyres. Jake Dennis was one of the first to make the correct choice, putting his Aston Martin on slicks and setting scorching lap times which nearly put him a second clear of the rest of the field. Soon, however, the other drivers began to catch up, ultimately dropping Dennis to seventh place.

Rast then took over from Dennis and set a 01:15:723, which appeared to put him on pole until Wittmann, who had been tenth up until then, came out of nowhere to set a 01:15:654, which was enough to take pole.

Loic Duval took third, some three-tenths further back with Paul di Resta underlining R-Motorsport's strong pace with a fourth place time. Robin Frijns was fifth, with Sheldon van der Linde sixth ahead of Dennis, Nico Müller, Timo Glock and Daniel Juncadella.


Brands Hatch 1 - Qualifying Result

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Flag   Marco Wittmann BMW Team RMG 1:15.654
2 Flag   Rene Rast Audi Team Rosberg 1:15.723 0.069
3 Flag   Loic Duval Audi Team Phoenix 1:16.012 0.358
4 Flag   Paul di Resta Aston Martin R-Motorsport 1:16.067 0.413
5 Flag   Robin Frijns Audi Team Abt Sportsline 1:16.249 0.595
6 Flag   Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW Team RBM 1:16.304 0.650
7 Flag   Jake Dennis Aston Martin R-Motorsport 1:16.342 0.688
8 Flag   Nico Muller Audi Team Abt Sportsline 1:16.365 0.711
9 Flag   Timo Glock BMW Team RMG 1:16.384 0.730
10 Flag   Daniel Juncadella Aston Martin R-Motorsport 1:16.533 0.879
11 Flag   Philipp Eng BMW Team RBM 1:16.541 0.887
12 Flag   Mike Rockenfeller Audi Team Phoenix 1:16.600 0.946
13 Flag   Jamie Green Audi Team Rosberg 1:16.675 1.021
14 Flag   Bruno Spengler BMW Team RBM 1:17.087 1.433
15 Flag   Joel Eriksson BMW Team RBM 1:17.489 1.835
16 Flag   Ferdinand von Habsburg Aston Martin R-Motorsport 1:17.510 1.856
17 Flag   Pietro Fittipaldi Audi WRT Racing 1:27.390 11.736
18 Flag   Jonathan Aberdein Audi WRT Racing 1:30.115 14.461