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Rachit Thukral

DTM Zandvoort: Engel beats BMW duo van der Linde, Wittmann to pole

Having already topped the two practice sessions on Friday, Engel was also unbeaten in the 20-minute pole shootout on Saturday morning as he clinched the top spot with a time of 1m32.585s.

Porsche’s Dennis Olsen first broke Engel’s practice benchmark, setting a time of 1m33.279s with 10 minutes to go as Manthey EMA elected to complete its flying laps early on.

Olsen’s team-mate Thomas Preining then went on top with a 1m33.075s, but it wasn’t until the final three minutes of the session that a driver broke the 1m33s barrier, with Engel's team-mate Jusuf Owega lapping the circuit in 1m32.945s.

However, Owega’s reign on top turned out to be short-lived, with Engel finding another four tenths to snatch pole. His time would not be beaten, securing the 37-year-old his first pole since the Red Bull Ring round last year and the first pole for his Landgraf team since its switch from ADAC GT Masters.

Reigning champion van der Linde provisionally qualified second in his M4 GT3 with a time that was just 0.030s down on Engel, but he remains under investigation for impeding the German in qualifying.

Second place nevertheless respected a marked turnaround for van der Linde and BMW after the South African qualified 19th and 15th for the two races at Oschersleben.

Two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann validated the improved pace of the BMW by qualifying third in his Project 1-run M4, albeit 0.297s down on Engel’s chart-topping time.

Works Lamborghini driver Franck Perera ended up just 0.001s adrift of Wittmann in fourth for SSR Performance.

Pole sitter Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG Team Landgraf Motorsport (Photo by: Alexander Trienitz)

Albert Costa, who is replacing Jack Aitken at the Emil Frey Racing Ferrari team this weekend while the Briton is on IMSA duty for Cadillac at Watkins Glen, qualified a strong fifth on his debut and pipped the second SSR Lamborghini of Mirko Bortolotti by 0.008s.

Owega’s time of 1m32.945s was good enough for seventh at the end, as he beat the top Audis of Abt driver Kelvin van der Linde and Orange1 team’s Patric Niederhauser.

Preining ended up 10th, ensuring all six manufacturers were represented inside the top 10.

Winward Mercedes driver Lucas Auer qualified 0.543s off the pace in 12th behind the Bernhard Porsche of Ayhancan Guven, while HRT Mercedes’ Luca Stolz was even further off the pace in 14th.

New BMW factory driver Dries Vanthoor, who has been called by Schubert to replace Rene Rast while the three-time champion is contesting the Portland Formula E round, qualified 16th for his DTM debut.

The first 23 of the 27 drivers were separated by just a second in a tightly-contested qualifying session on the DTM’s first visit to Zandvoort since 2018.

DTM Zandvoort: Qualifying results:

Cla # Driver Car Time Gap
1 48 Germany Maro Engel Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'32.585  
2 1 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde BMW M4 GT3 1'32.615 0.030
3 11 Germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 GT3 1'32.882 0.297
4 94 Frank Perera Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 1'32.883 0.298
5 14 United Kingdom Jack Aitken Ferrari 296 GT3 1'32.926 0.341
6 92 Italy Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 1'32.934 0.349
7 84 Jusuf Owega Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'32.945 0.360
8 3 South Africa Kelvin van der Linde Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'32.993 0.408
9 83 Switzerland Patric Niederhauser Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'33.053 0.468
10 91 Austria Thomas Preining Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'33.075 0.490
11 24 Turkey Ayhancan Güven Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'33.084 0.499
12 22 Austria Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'33.128 0.543
13 8 Germany Luca Engstler Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'33.137 0.552
14 4 Germany Luca Stolz Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'33.162 0.577
15 40 Italy Mattia Drudi Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'33.166 0.581
16 33 Germany René Rast BMW M4 GT3 1'33.172 0.587
17 7 Switzerland Ricardo Feller Audi R8 LMS Evo II 1'33.258 0.673
18 90 Norway Dennis Olsen Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'33.279 0.694
19 27 Germany David Schumacher Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'33.298 0.713
20 75 Germany Laurin Heinrich Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'33.333 0.748
21 36 India Arjun Maini Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 1'33.334 0.749
22 9 Tim Heinemann Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'33.459 0.874
23 19 Austria Mick Wishofer Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 1'33.493 0.908
24 63 Austria Clemens Schmid Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 1'33.664 1.079
25 99 Germany Christian Engelhart Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 1'33.712 1.127
26 69 Thierry Vermeulen Ferrari 296 GT3 1'34.129 1.544
27 6 Italy Alessio Deledda Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 1'35.406 2.821
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