Edoardo Mortara gives Audi fans reason for hope
- Italian will start the DTM race at the Norisring from the second row
- Extremely narrow gaps in qualifying
- Leader of the standings Mike Rockenfeller only on grid position 19
Edoardo Mortara missed the pole position in qualifying at the Norisring by an extremely narrow margin of just 106 thousandths of a second. As the best Audi driver, the Italian from Audi Sport Team Rosberg in his Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM will start the DTM’s only city street race on Sunday (broadcast live on “Das Erste”) from the second row.
Within the Audi squad, Edoardo Mortara did the best job of this. The four-time winner of the Macau Grand Prix, who is particularly fond of city street circuits, battled his way forward into the decisive fourth qualifying segment and secured grid position four. “It was a good qualifying session for us,” said the Italian. “Achieving a better result would have been difficult today. In Q3 and Q4, I had the feeling of having squeezed the maximum out of the car. We’re not completely in front yet so we’ve still got some work to do. But the gap isn’t large and that’s good. We’ve got some difficult weekends behind us on which we were competitive but didn’t get everything together competely. Now things are going better – that’s a nice result for Team Rosberg too.”
Team Rosberg provided the second-fastest Audi driver – Filipe Albuquerque (Audi Financial Services RS 5 DTM) – as well. The Portuguese finished the qualifying session in eighth place. With Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM) taking ninth place, a driver from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline finished in the top ten too.
In eleventh place, Adrien Tambay, who in his Audi ultra RS 5 DTM had been the fastest driver in the morning’s free practice, barely missed the leap into Q3. His two team-mates Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM) and Jamie Green (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM) are sharing the seventh row of the grid. In the morning, both had lost valuable practice time in the pits.
The most prominent victim of the extremely close field at the Norisring was Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM). In 19th place, the leader of the standings was eliminated right in the first section and is now facing a particularly difficult task on Sunday. His team-mate in Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Miguel Molina, even had to settle for grid position 22.
“Even for DTM and Norisring conditions, the gaps were extremely narrow today,” said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “Edoardo (Mortara) made sure that even after five races we’re still the only manufacturer to have had at least one car among the top four in qualifying. Following the strong performance in free practice this morning, we’d obviously been hoping for a bit more than position four on the grid. But lately we’ve been seeing that our RS5 has always been very strong in the race. That’s why anything’s still possible tomorrow – even for Mike (Rockenfeller). Making the best use of the option tires as well as of DRS will be playing a very important role tomorrow.”
Fans around the world can watch the fourth DTM race of the year live on the DTM’s new YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/dtmint. 39 TV channels in total air live DTM coverage in 141 countries. In Germany, ARD will start to broadcast live from Nuremberg on “Das Erste” at 13:15.
Before the start of the DTM race Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen will be driving demo laps on the Norisring with the Audi R18 e-tron quattro. The Dane clinched the pole position for Audi in Nuremberg in 2005.
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