Canadian Bruno Spengler took his 13th career pole position in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters at the Nürburgring and his second of the 2012 season as he beat Italian Edoardo Mortara to the top.
BMW’s Spengler was 0.221 seconds quicker than Audi’s Mortara in the critical qualifying ‘shoot-out’ at the end of the session which sees the four fastest drivers pitted against each other. Mortara’s Audi Sport Team Rosberg team-mate Filipe Albuquerque was third fastest, with Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Mike Rockenfeller fourth fastest, half a second adrift of the quickest time set by Spengler.
Martin Tomczyk and Augusto Farfus ensured it was a strong session for BMW on the weekend of the brand celebrating 40 years of ‘BMW M’ by qualifying in fifth and sixth fastest respectively.
Mercedes-Benz drivers once again struggled to find pace around the 3.6 km Nürburgring Short circuit, with Jamie Green the top Mercedes pilot in seventh.
Despite still only having one championship point to his name, German Dirk Werner once again qualified strongly to take eighth, ahead of Mercedes’ Robert Wickens and Audi’s Timo Scheider who completed the top ten.
Current championship leader Gary Paffett was unable to break into Q3 for the first time in 2012 and qualified down in 11th. The Mercedes pilot looked like making a last-minute entry into the third part of qualifying until yellow flags, caused by a spin for Augusto Farfus, scuppered his final flying lap.
Also suffering from a bad qualifying session by his own high standards was Swede Mattias Ekström – the former double champion ‘only’ managing 12th.
Swiss racer Rahel Frey, who qualified in 17th, scored her best qualifying result of the 2012 season so far. “I should be pleased, but I’m not really yet,” she admitted after qualifying. “I’ve set high aims for the second half of the season; we’re in pretty good shape.”
Brits Andy Priaulx, Susie Wolff and David Coulthard all had disastrous sessions, qualifying down in 19th, 21st and 22nd respectively.