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Rachit Thukral

DTM Hockenheim: Rast takes pole for finale as red flag compromises title rivals

Fraga had just set the fastest time of the session when he crashed his AF Corse Ferrari into the barriers at the exit of Turn 1, prompting race control to deploy the red flag.

With just two minutes left on the clock, a decision was made not to restart the qualifying with the results declared based on the order established before the intervention.

Fraga’s time was taken out as per the regulations as he had caused the red flag, promoting Abt Audi’s Rast to pole position for the season finale courtesy of his previous effort of 1m36.817s.

The three points he scored means he keeps a faint hope of departing Audi as a four-time champion, especially as his chief title rivals Sheldon van der Linde and Lucas Auer had not set a competitive lap by that time.

Championship leader van de Linde ended up only sixth in the Schubert BMW, nearly two seconds off pole position, while Saturday race winner Auer could only manage 11th in one of his worst qualifying performances of the season.

Rast also received a Balance of Performance boost late on Saturday night as the size of the Audi’s restrictor increased by 1mm to allow for more power. Conversely, all BMW drivers including van der Linde will have to do with 0.041 bar less of boost pressure in Sunday's race, while Winward driver Auer and his Mercedes stablemates were hit with a 5kg of additional weight.

Van der Linde goes into the championship finale just two points clear of Auer, with Rast now 19 points adrift of the former and needing the minimum of a race win to have any chance of winning the title.

Lamborghini’s Mirko Bortolotti was relying on a single run in qualifying and had just set the fastest time of all in the opening sector when the red flag was brought, leaving him 18th on the grid and officially out of the title fight.

However, his Grasser Racing team-mate Clemens Schmid was lucky with the timing of the intervention and secured his front row spot of the season alongside Rast, with Attempto Audi’s Marius Zug also pulling off a surprise by qualifying third.

Marius Zug, Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 (Photo by: Alexander Trienitz)

Fourth place on the grid will go to the Walkenhorst BMW of Marco Wittmann, while Rosberg Audi star Nico Muller will start his last race as a DTM driver from fifth on the grid, just ahead of van der Linde.

Dev Gore made it two cars from Rosberg Audis in the top seven after his career-best result on Saturday was upheld by the stewards, while Christian Engelhart (SSR Performance), Maximilian Gotz (Winward Mercedes) and Leon Kohler (Walkenhorst BMW) completed the top 10.

Reigning champion Gotz was the top Mercedes on the grid, two places ahead of the marque’s title representative Auer.

A total of seven drivers were ruled out from taking part in the final qualifying of the year following a series of crashes in Saturday’s red-flagged race, leaving only 20 entries in the field.

DTM Hockenheim qualifying results - race 2

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 Germany René Rast Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'36.817  
2 Austria Clemens Schmid Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 1'37.235 0.418
3 Germany Marius Zug Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'37.606 0.789
4 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 GT3 1'37.816 0.999
5 Switzerland Nico Müller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'38.336 1.519
6 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 GT3 1'38.522 1.705
7 United States Dev Gore Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'38.638 1.821
8 Germany Christian Engelhart Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'38.652 1.835
9 Germany Maximilian Götz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'38.658 1.841
10 Leon Köhler BMW M4 GT3 1'38.787 1.970
11 Austria Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'38.881 2.064
12 Germany Maro Engel Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'39.112 2.295
13 Germany Luca Stolz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'39.157 2.340
14 Italy Alessio Deledda Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 1'39.260 2.443
15 Brazil Felipe Fraga Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 1'39.266 2.449
16 Austria Philipp Eng BMW M4 GT3 1'39.337 2.520
17 Germany Maximilian Buhk Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'39.786 2.969
18 Italy Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 1'40.656 3.839
19 South Africa Kelvin van der Linde Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'41.740 4.923
20 Switzerland Ricardo Feller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'43.856 7.039
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