DTM Norisring Qualifying: Ferrari on Pole

Pole position for Jack Aitken (Emil Frey Ferrari) at the Norisring! The Ferrari driver will start from pole position in Saturday’s DTM race (today at 1:30 p.m. live on free TV on ProSieben). The drivers can expect a real heat battle at the seventh race of the 2024 season on the famous street circuit: up to 30 degrees and sunshine are forecast for midday in Nuremberg.

Two-time season winner Aitken prevailed on Saturday morning in the split qualifying (more on that later) with the best time of 48.965 seconds on the 2.162-kilometer street circuit. The Briton from Group B was only 0.096 seconds faster than last year’s winner Sheldon van der Linde (Schubert-BMW), who had set the fastest lap time in Group A at the start.

Jack Aitken on pole position in Norisring qualifying

“The main thing is to be on the front row,” said van der Linde after his best time in Group A. “It’s strange at the Norisring, you’re on pole but have to wait for the other group. I’m happy with my lap, I didn’t make any mistakes. Yesterday things didn’t go quite as smoothly, so I’m proud of my guys.”

According to the qualifying mode, Mirko Bortolotti (SSR-Lamborghini, second fastest in Group B) and Engelhart substitute Franck Perera (GRT-Lamborghini, second fastest in Group A) started from the second row of the grid in the first race of the weekend. Championship leader Kelvin van der Linde (Abt-Audi, third fastest in Group B) and Maro Engel (Winward-Mercedes, third fastest in Group A) finished fifth and sixth.

Manthey-Porsche far behind – Preing pushes frustration

Three-time DTM champion Rene Rast (Schubert-BMW, ​​fourth fastest in Group B) and Arjun Maini (HRT-Mercedes, fourth fastest in Group A) shared row four in seventh and eighth place. Lucas Auer (Winward-Mercedes) and local hero Marco Wittmann (Schubert-BMW) completed the top 10 on the starting grid. “I had hoped for more,” said the two-time DTM champion, for whom a huge fan flag was hung on the stone grandstand, not very enthusiastic.

Things did not go according to plan for the reigning DTM champion Thomas Preining (Manthey-Porsche). The Austrian did not manage to get beyond seventh place in Group B – 0.251 seconds behind Aitken – and will therefore start from 13th place on the grid. Manthey team-mate Ayhancan Güven had to make do with a place on the last row. “It’s frustrating when you’re driving at the limit but nothing works. It’s no fun like that. We probably won’t be able to overtake anyone on the track unless someone drops out,” said Preining contritely.

DTM Norisring: Starting grid race 1 (top 10)

Pos. driver automobile team
1 Jack Aitken Ferrari Emil Frey Racing
2 Sheldon van der Linde BMW Schubert Motorsport
3 Mirko Bortolotti Lamborghini SSR Performance
4 Franck Perera Lamborghini GRT Grasser Racing
5 Kelvin van der Linde Audi Abt Sportsline
6 Maro Engel Mercedes-AMG Winward
7 Rene Rast BMW Schubert Motorsport
8th Arjun Maini Mercedes-AMG HRT
9 Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG Winward
10 Marco Wittmann BMW Schubert Motorsport

Despite smaller DTM starting field: Qualifying split again

As in previous years, qualifying was held in two groups, each with a driving time of 20 minutes, to allow the drivers as free a lap as possible. The ADAC stuck to this procedure, although the starting field was reduced from 28 to 20 cars compared to last year.

The fastest driver from the combined group stage secured first place on the grid. The best placed driver from the other group took second place on the grid. The second fastest driver from the pole setter’s group took P3, the second fastest driver from the other group took P4, and so on.

Based on the times in the practice sessions, the drivers in the odd-numbered positions started chasing times on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. The drivers in the even-numbered training positions followed at 9:25 a.m. In the timed practice on Sunday, the groups start in reverse order. This system is intended to neutralize the different track conditions in the staggered qualifying sessions.

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