Hockenheim DTM: Rast beats title rival Muller in qualifying

Audi's Rene Rast took a crucial pole position in the penultimate qualifying session of the 2020 DTM season at Hockenheim, edging out chief title rival Nico Muller by just 0.048s. 

Hockenheim DTM: Rast beats title rival Muller in qualifying

Rast headed into the decider with a 19-point lead over Muller after taking a quartet of victories in the previous two rounds at Zolder, with Robin Frijns an outside contender.

The two-time champion was immediately up to pace in qualifying, lowering Muller’s practice benchmark by a whopping eight tenths on his very first effort in the opening run.

Muller also managed to improve on his FP2 lap but had no answer to Rast, who ended up half a second quicker than the rest of the field after the first runs.

When the drivers returned on track for a final shot at pole position, Muller upped his pace to take on Rast, setting fastest times in sectors one and two. However, a relatively slow final sector made the difference, leaving him 0.019s down on Rast.

Rast managed to marginally improve on his final flyer, extending the margin over the Abt Audi driver to 0.048s to claim his seventh pole position of the season. The three points he scored put him 20 clear of Muller, with 53 available over the remainder of the weekend.

Behind the championship contenders, BMW’s Jonathan Aberdein put in an impressive lap to qualify third, ahead of the second Rosberg Audi of Jamie Green.

Rising BMW star Sheldon van der Linde moved up to fifth late on with a time of 1m29.026s, beating his stablemate Philipp Eng by just 0.061s.

Loic Duval was seventh-quickest for Audi, while Frijns could qualify only eighth, over seven tenths down on Rast’s pole lap.

The top 10 was rounded off by Duval’s teammate Mike Rockenfeller and the top WRT Audi of Fabio Scherer.

Fresh of his maiden podium finish at Zolder, Robert Kubica qualified nine tenths off the pace in 11th in the ART-run BMW.

Qualifying results:

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 Germany René Rast
Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'28.405
2 Switzerland Nico Müller
Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'28.453 0.048
3 South Africa Jonathan Aberdein
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 1'28.891 0.486
4 United Kingdom Jamie Green
Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'28.929 0.524
5 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 1'29.026 0.621
6 Austria Philipp Eng
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 1'29.087 0.682
7 France Loic Duval
Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'29.118 0.713
8 Netherlands Robin Frijns
Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'29.137 0.732
9 Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'29.176 0.771
10 Switzerland Fabio Scherer
Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'29.287 0.882
11 Poland Robert Kubica
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 1'29.300 0.895
12 Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'29.599 1.194
13 Germany Timo Glock
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 1'29.599 1.194
14 Germany Marco Wittmann
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 1'29.628 1.223
15 United Kingdom Harrison Newey
Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 2020 1'29.749 1.344
16 Austria Lucas Auer
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 2020 1'29.867 1.462
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