Hockenheim DTM: Rast on pole, Button sixth quickest

Hockenheim DTM: Rast on pole, Button sixth quickest

Audi's Rene Rast took his eighth pole of the DTM season at Hockenheim as one-time Formula 1 champion Jenson Button took a surprise sixth as the best-placed SUPER GT driver.

Starting in wet conditions, the final few minutes played out on a drying track as the field made late switches to the slick Hankook tyre, leading to a flurry of late improvements.

Rast had battled BMW's Timo Glock, who would eventually finish seventh, to trade places at the top of the times and the 2019 DTM champion held off a late rapid lap from Marco Wittmann to take pole.

Rast was one of several drivers to skate off track at the final corner, experiencing the same slippery runoff that proved controversial during this year's German Grand Prix.

Wittmann fell just 0.127s short of Rast's pole position time and Mike Rockenfeller was a fellow late improver to take third.

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WRT Audi's Jonathan Aberdein continued his impressive qualifying pace to take fourth ahead of Loic Duval, who went off into the gravel following the end of the session.

Button was continually the leading SUPER GT driver and he had lifted his Kunimitsu Honda to the fringes of the top 10 midway through the session.

Following a pitstop to switch to slicks, a cautious first lap left him down in 16th.

Button then surged to third with a time of 1m46.206s, just over 0.6s down on the pole time, before he was shuffled down to sixth.

Button's previous closest time to the leader of the DTM field had been 2.1s in second practice and ahead of Saturday's running the DTM and SUPER GT decided against enforcing a Balance of Performance.

Audi's Robin Frijns was eighth, despite fighting for the leading spots early in the session, with BMW's Sheldon van der Linde and his teammate Joel Eriksson rounding out the top 10.

Rast's 2019 title rival Nico Muller was 11th ahead of the leading R-Motorsport Aston Martin of Ferdinand Habsburg.

As has been the case in 2019, wet conditions played into the hands of the underpowered Aston Martin Vantage DTM to fight for the leading positions in the worst of the weather.

Habsburg's teammates Daniel Juncadella and Jake Dennis took turns in provisional pole position before settling for 12th and 13th respectively, with Paul di Resta in 15th.

The final two SUPER GT runners filled out the final positions on the grid.

Ryo Hirakawa placed his TOM'S Lexus in 20th, with Tsugio Matsuda's NISMO-entered Nissan 21st.

Following qualifying, R-Motorsport made a request to the DTM technical delegate to "open the sealing of three additional engines".

While it is unclear if this means R-Motorsport will replace engines in its four-car team, it means the four cars cannot keep score points for the manufacturers' championship in today's race.

R-Motorsport has made the request on several occasions during 2019 and BMW did so at Brands Hatch

Qualifying results:

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 Germany René Rast
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 1'45.552
2 Germany Marco Wittmann
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 1'45.679 0.127
3 Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 1'45.783 0.231
4 South Africa Jonathan Aberdein
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 1'45.928 0.376
5 France Loic Duval
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 1'45.939 0.387
6 United Kingdom Jenson Button
Honda NSX-GT 1'46.206 0.654
7 Germany Timo Glock
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 1'46.315 0.763
8 Netherlands Robin Frijns
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 1'46.351 0.799
9 South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 1'46.383 0.831
10 Sweden Joel Eriksson
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 1'46.628 1.076
11 Switzerland Nico Müller
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 1'46.789 1.237
12 Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 1'46.791 1.239
13 Spain Daniel Juncadella
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 1'46.986 1.434
14 United Kingdom Jake Dennis
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 1'46.988 1.436
15 Canada Bruno Spengler
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 1'47.026 1.474
16 United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Aston Martin Vantage DTM 1'47.090 1.538
17 Austria Philipp Eng
BMW M4 Turbo DTM 1'47.548 1.996
18 United Kingdom Jamie Green
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 1'47.590 2.038
19 Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi
Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM 1'47.792 2.240
20 New Zealand Nick Cassidy
Lexus LC500 1'49.181 3.629
21 Japan Tsugio Matsuda
Nissan/ R35 1'49.349 3.797
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About this article

Series DTM
Event Hockenheim II
Drivers René Rast
Author Tom Errington