- Thousandths of a second decide qualifying at Brands Hatch
- Mike Rockenfeller on grid position four despite fastest lap in Q3
- Six Audi A5 DTM cars on the six front rows of the grid
Ingolstadt/Brands Hatch, May 19, 2012 – Mike Rockenfeller in his Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM managed the fastest time of the day in qualifying for the DTM race at Brands Hatch (Great Britain). In the final shoot-out for the best grid positions the quickest in last year’s qualifying had to settle for fourth place, though.
As expected, the qualifying event on the DTM track that with a length of 1,929 kilometres is the shortest one of the year turned into a battle for thousandths of a second. In the third qualifying segment (Q3) the nine quickest vehicles from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz were within 0.152 seconds of each other. The fastest time of the entire weekend was achieved by Mike Rockenfeller (Audi Sport Team Phoenix), who at 41.020 seconds in Q3 almost beat the track record from the year 2010 (41.003s).
In the crucial last qualifying segment (Q4) “Rocky” missed the front row by 0.074 seconds, though. “In this qualifying event everything was possible,” said the 2010 Le Mans winner. “In the end I was only lacking a couple of thousandths – that was a shame of course. But I think that together with the team I made the most of qualifying.
We weren’t happy with the car in both free practice sessions and made a lot of changes. The changes went in the right direction. In Q3 I was able to squeeze out everything, in Q4 I didn’t quite manage to do that, so I’m not dissatisfied. The race is long and we’ve got to see what the weather will do. Grid position four isn’t bad.” Filipe Albuqerque in the TV Movie Audi A5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg secured grid position six. DTM rookie Adrien Tambay in the Audi ultra A5 DTM from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline again made the leap into the top ten, as he previously had at the Lausitzring two weeks ago, and in seventh place achieved the best qualifying result to date in his still young DTM career.
Joining him on the fourth row of the grid on Sunday will be his team-mate Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM). With Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi A5 DTM) and Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM) on positions eleven and twelve a total of six Audi A5 DTM cars are starting into the race from the top six rows. Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM) after an excursion in Q2 had to settle for position 15. Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM) was merely lacking seven tenths to the top in Q1 – which meant grid position 22 nonetheless.
Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: “’Well done’ to Mike Rockenfeller, who set the fastest lap of the weekend so far in Q3 – this shows the potential of the A5 DTM. But we could again see today that in the DTM absolutely everything has simply got to fit together. In Q4 he was merely lacking 74 thousandths to the front row. We’ve got six cars on the front six rows tomorrow.
That’s okay. But we know that in general we’ve got some work to do. We’re not far away because we’re talking about thousandths or tenths – but they’re especially hard to work out in the DTM. A remarkable feat is Adrien Tambay’s seventh place on the grid in just his third DTM race.” The race at Brands Hatch will start at 1 p.m. local time (2 p.m. in Germany). ARD will begin to broadcast live on “Das Erste” at 1:45 p.m.