British F3

HARVEY CLAIMS FINAL-RACE VICTORY AND IS BRITISH F3 CHAMPION

Jack Harvey is the 2012 Champion of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series – the first British victor for six years. The Lincolnshire 19-year-old clinched the crown this evening at Donington Park with a near-faultless win in the final round having led all the way from pole position.

Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver Harvey is the Carlin team’s fifth successive champion and also ended his season with the most race victories of all: seven.

“This means the world to me,” said Jack on the victory podium. “The way Silverstone went for me a couple of weeks ago was really bad, so I came away from there feeling a bit deflated. To finish on top here is just magic.

“Carlin have been incredible. Everybody just presumes that we have good drivers but it’s the team that’s the best – they have the best people at this level and the next few above. The team worked so hard for me and this is for them.”

Team boss Trevor Carlin paid fulsome tribute to his charge: “Jack did a great job – everything he had to do. There was a lot of pressure on him and I’m very proud of him.”

Harvey took command of the race at the outset and, despite intense pressure throughout from Fortec driver Alex Lynn, held on to win by 0.682s. His only scare came on lap 11 when he erred slightly at the chicane and Lynn seized a chance to outbrake the leader into the Melbourne hairpin. However the attempt, wreathed in tyre smoke, ended in failure.

“I was quite a bit quicker than Jack the whole race,” said Alex. “He made a mistake at the chicane so I tried to capitalise on it. It didn’t really work out. I think that was Jack’s only mistake and he thoroughly deserved to win.”

Another title contender, Carlin’s Jazeman Jaafar, shadowed Harvey and Lynn to the end but could not match their pace. The Malaysian, who finishes championship runner-up, praised Harvey for his victory: “I’m not really disappointed; Jack was that little bit quicker than me all weekend – he did a sterling job.”

The other title hopeful, Fortec’s Felix Serralles, placed eighth after a disappointing race. The Puerto Rican held fifth for much of the race but faded in the closing eight laps. He takes third in the championship – an impressive feat for a rookie.

Harry Tincknell claimed fourth – and fifth in the championship to boot – after nipping past his team-mate Pietro Fantin at the Old Hairpin three laps from the end.

Hywel Lloyd claimed National class victory for CF Racing to complete a hat-trick of Donington class wins.

Earlier in the day, the championship’s penultimate round brought victory for Harry Tincknell, and disaster for Jaafar and Lynn, who clashed at the Old Hairpin on the opening lap.

The race belonged to Tincknell from the outset, the Devon driver romping from pole position to chequered flag to win by 1.7s and record his fourth such victory of the year. The Carlin man made a perfect start and was unfazed by a three-lap safety car period which ensued from the Jaafar/Lynn accident.

It was a great bounce-back for Harry from feeling under the weather for several days. “I haven’t been feeling 100 per cent this last week and we had a tough time in testing but I’ve been steadily working as hard as I can to get on the pace,” he said. “I made a really good start, which has been a strong point for me this year, and after that it was all totally straightforward. It’s great to get another win.” Harry additionally collected the coveted Raymond Mays Trophy, awarded by the Donington Park Racing Association Club, for his efforts.

Fortec’s Pipo Derani, who started second on the grid, shadowed Tincknell throughout and was pleased with his fifth podium of the year: “This is good for me. I’ve had a lot of races this year which I could have finished well but didn’t, and it’s been disappointing. Apart from that it has been a good year – lots of learning and some good results as well. Now it’s all about preparation to see if I can get back next year and try to do better.”

Third place went the way of Brazil’s Pietro Fantin, who snatched it away from Serralles on lap eight at Coppice. “He made a mistake, had oversteer,” said Carlin man Fantin. “I almost didn’t make it – I had two wheels on the grass there on the inside – but I knew that Felix was fighting for the championship so I didn’t think that he would come back at me.”

Serralles did not fight back: he had a job on his hands preserving fourth place from the attentions of his Fortec team-mate Hannes van Asseldonk. The Puerto Rican kept him at bay for the duration.

The first-lap clash between Jaafar and Lynn started with a brave move from Jaafar through the Craner Curves, Jazeman pulling alongside Alex to run side-by-side with the Fortec man as they approached the Old Hairpin. Lynn then locked up and slithered wide and into Jaafar; a deflating rear tyre on Lynn’s car was blamed for the incident.

Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Round 28, Donington Park Grand Prix 30/9/2012
13 laps / 32.33 miles

Provisional results International class
1  Harry TINCKNELL / GBR,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  20m 12.362s / 96.01mph
2  Pipo DERANI / BRA,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  +1.718s
3  Pietro FANTIN / BRA,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  +3.344s
4  Felix SERRALLES / PUR,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  +4.064s
5  Hannes VAN ASSELDONK / NED,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  +5.786s
6  Jack HARVEY / GBR,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  +6.852s
7  Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK / GBR,  Double R Dallara-Mercedes  +9.248s
8  Nick McBRIDE / AUS,  T-Sport Dallara-Nissan  +11.218s
9  Geoff UHRHANE / AUS,  Double R Dallara-Mercedes  +11.624s

National class
1  Hywel LLOYD / GBR,  CF Racing Dallara-Mugen Honda  +18.504s
2  Spike GODDARD / AUS,  T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda  +18.928s
3  Pedro Pablo CALBIMONTE / BOL,  T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda  +23.582s
4  Duvashen PADAYACHEE / AUS,  Double R Dallara-Mugen Honda  +32.346s

Did not finish
Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  0 laps
Alex LYNN / GBR,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  0 laps

Fastest lap Fantin 1m 23.248s / 107.56mph

 

Round 29
28 laps / 69.64 miles

Provisional results International class
1  Jack HARVEY / GBR,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  39m 29.398s / 105.81mph
2  Alex LYNN / GBR,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  +0.682s
3  Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  +4.712s
4  Harry TINCKNELL / GBR,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  +5.889s
5  Pipo DERANI / BRA,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  +6.894s
6  Pietro FANTIN / BRA,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  +7.506s
7  Hannes VAN ASSELDONK / NED,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  +8.135s
8  Felix SERRALLES / PUR,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  +14.086s
9  Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK / GBR,  Double R Dallara-Mercedes  +15.476s
10  Nick McBRIDE / AUS,  T-Sport Dallara-Nissan  +15.947s
11  Geoff UHRHANE / AUS,  Double R Dallara-Mercedes  +16.382s

National class
1  Hywel LLOYD / GBR,  CF Racing Dallara-Mugen Honda  +1m 05.612s
2  Pedro Pablo CALBIMONTE / BOL,  T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda  +1m 06.410s
3  Duvashen PADAYACHEE / AUS,  Double R Dallara-Mugen Honda  +1m 23.355s
4  Spike GODDARD / AUS,  T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda  +1m 24.613s

Fastest lap Lynn 1m 23.766s / 106.89mph

Full timesheets http://bit.ly/Ps9v4k

Provisional final championship standings
1 Harvey 319 points;
2 Jaafar 306; 3 Serralles 299; 4 Lynn 253; 5 Tincknell 226; 6 Carlos Sainz 224; 7 Fantin 195; 8 Derani 146; 9 van Asseldonk 132; 10 McBride 85 etc

National class 1 Goddard 427; 2 Padayachee 377; 3 Adderly Fong 161; 4 Calbimonte 124; 5 Lloyd 61.

DTM

THE BATTLE FOR THE DTM TITLE WILL BE DECIDED IN THE SEASON FINALE AT HOCKENHEIM…

In the ninth DTM season round at Valencia in Spain, favourites Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz), Bruno Spengler (BMW) and Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) faltered. After collisions and penalties, they lost valuable points in the battle for the DTM champion’s crown. Augusto Farfus had his name written in the DTM history books by becoming the first Brazilian race winner with his BMW M3 DTM. He finished ahead of Adrien Tambay and Mattias Ekström (both Audi), who ended up second and third.

Points’ leader Paffett was involved in a collision on the opening lap, incurred a time penalty later on and finally parked his car in the pits on lap 27. The Brit still remains competitive: “We are still in the lead of the championship. Here, we had a bad weekend, but at Hockenheim, we will be quick and fight for victory.” Spengler dropped back to the end of the field after a drive-through penalty because of a jump start. The Canadian still scored valuable points by finishing sixth. “Fortunately, I was able to drive consistently fast after the penalty and score important points,” Spengler said. Green was given a drive-through penalty for leaving the track after his first pit stop. “Nevertheless, we will fight until the last lap at Hockenheim,” he said after his tenth place at Valencia. Prior to the Hockenheim season finale, Paffett is leading with 127 points from Spengler (124) and Green (109).

Race winner Farfus crossed the finish line full of emotions. “Winning here in the DTM is such a privilege. I am overjoyed,” said the 29-year old, who started from pole position and scored his maiden DTM race win. Rookie Tambay was equally happy with his second place. Swiss lady racer Rahel Frey left 15 drivers behind her by finishing seventh with her Audi A5 DTM, scoring her first-ever DTM points. For the Mercedes-Benz drivers, the race was disappointing. They would have loved to show this week-end’s 24,000 spectators at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo more than Jamie Green’s tenth place as the best driver of a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé.

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “Huge congratulations to Augusto Farfus. Being on pole and bringing victory home here as a rookie driver was a great performance. We have four BMWs in the top ten and Bruno Spengler has reduced the gap. Now, we have an entirely open championship situation for Hockenheim, which is what we wanted. Now, we need to continue to work in a concentrated way and see what comes out.”

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “We have reached our goal to score many points for the manufacturers’ championship here. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to win. Nevertheless, all our cars were at a high level and it is enthusing to see how many young drivers have come to the fore. Adrien Tambay scored a podium finish in second place and Rahel Frey has shown a great performance, too.”

Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “Gary had a good start and already had made up several places. In the collision, his car was significantly damaged and there was no point in carrying on. It is the first time this season that Gary hasn’t scored any points. The finale at Hockenheim in three weeks’ time will be thrilling and Gary still has all the chances.”

The DTM finale takes place at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg from October 19th till 21st.

Valencia. The battle for the DTM title will be decided in the season finale at Hockenheim. In the ninth DTM season round at Valencia in Spain, favourites Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz), Bruno Spengler (BMW) and Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) faltered. After collisions and penalties, they lost valuable points in the battle for the DTM champion’s crown. Augusto Farfus had his name written in the DTM history books by becoming the first Brazilian race winner with his BMW M3 DTM. He finished ahead of Adrien Tambay and Mattias Ekström (both Audi), who ended up second and third.

Points’ leader Paffett was involved in a collision on the opening lap, incurred a time penalty later on and finally parked his car in the pits on lap 27. The Brit still remains competitive: “We are still in the lead of the championship. Here, we had a bad weekend, but at Hockenheim, we will be quick and fight for victory.” Spengler dropped back to the end of the field after a drive-through penalty because of a jump start. The Canadian still scored valuable points by finishing sixth. “Fortunately, I was able to drive consistently fast after the penalty and score important points,” Spengler said. Green was given a drive-through penalty for leaving the track after his first pit stop. “Nevertheless, we will fight until the last lap at Hockenheim,” he said after his tenth place at Valencia. Prior to the Hockenheim season finale, Paffett is leading with 127 points from Spengler (124) and Green (109).

Race winner Farfus crossed the finish line full of emotions. “Winning here in the DTM is such a privilege. I am overjoyed,” said the 29-year old, who started from pole position and scored his maiden DTM race win. Rookie Tambay was equally happy with his second place. Swiss lady racer Rahel Frey left 15 drivers behind her by finishing seventh with her Audi A5 DTM, scoring her first-ever DTM points. For the Mercedes-Benz drivers, the race was disappointing. They would have loved to show this week-end’s 24,000 spectators at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo more than Jamie Green’s tenth place as the best driver of a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé.

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “Huge congratulations to Augusto Farfus. Being on pole and bringing victory home here as a rookie driver was a great performance. We have four BMWs in the top ten and Bruno Spengler has reduced the gap. Now, we have an entirely open championship situation for Hockenheim, which is what we wanted. Now, we need to continue to work in a concentrated way and see what comes out.”

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “We have reached our goal to score many points for the manufacturers’ championship here. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to win. Nevertheless, all our cars were at a high level and it is enthusing to see how many young drivers have come to the fore. Adrien Tambay scored a podium finish in second place and Rahel Frey has shown a great performance, too.”

Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “Gary had a good start and already had made up several places. In the collision, his car was significantly damaged and there was no point in carrying on. It is the first time this season that Gary hasn’t scored any points. The finale at Hockenheim in three weeks’ time will be thrilling and Gary still has all the chances.”

The DTM finale takes place at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg from October 19th till 21st.

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Grand Am Series

 

CHAMPIONS CROWNED AT LIME ROCK PARK…

While the setting for the Championship Weekend at Lime Rock Park may be bucolic, the hills today reverberated with the sounds of intense action from the 13th and final race of the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.   The yellow flag was in regular use as, right out of pit row, the race started under a full course caution after the #70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 went off the course in turn one during the last parade lap.  A stop and go pace followed for much of the first half of the race – a second full-course yellow for a multi-car accident was shortly followed by a wreck between Andrew Davis (Bogart, Ga.) in the #59 Brumos Racing Porsche and Paul Dalla Lana (Toronto, Canada) in the #94 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 at the entrance to the esses .  And, just over an hour into the race, the #70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8, driven by Jonathan Bomarito (Monterey, Calif.), was again off track.   As the race neared its conclusion, it seemed the drivers were finally in their comfort zones.

In the DP class, with the championship title still on the line, the race win was taken by Ricky Taylor (Apopka, Fla.) and co-driver Max Angelelli (Monaco) in the #10 SunTrust Racing Corvette DP.   It was their third victory of the season as well as their third victory in three races at Lime Rock Park. 

“I was sitting there at the beginning of the race and I was hoping for a podium, to be honest,” said Taylor explaining that as soon as he saw Angelelli’s speed on the restart at the beginning, he knew they had a car that could possibly win the race.  “When the yellow came out I was a bit nervous, but in hindsight I was lucky because it made us a bit safer on fuel and got us less laps on the tires.”  The final yellow gave Taylor a chance to collect himself:  “I’ve never been one to take a deep breath, and I needed it.  I was shaking, I was a mess.  It definitely helped me a lot.  The car dropped off dramatically the last five laps and that yellow might have given me that extra buffer, especially since it’s a four-lap yellow here instead of a three-lap yellow and that gave me a little of a buffer as far as tire wear goes.”  

Richard Westbrook (London, England) had turned three pole position starts in the #90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP into wins earlier in the season – at Barber Motorsports Park, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – but was unable to make it happen for a fourth time.  “It was a very tough race,” said Westbrook who shares the #90 driving with Antonio Garcia (Madrid, Spain).   “A good advert for GRAND-AM again; it was a really good DP race.  Everyone on a different strategy, but everyone had the same problem when they were on the end of the life of the tires.  It was very difficult and there was a big drop off in lap times.  It made for interesting racing.  There was quite a bit of overtaking.  Considering its Lime Rock, it’s very difficult to overtake.  Congrats to the Sun Trust crew.  I thought they drove really well today and deserved it.  I’m really happy to just get podium.  We’ve either won or not finished this year, so it’s nice to get a good solid haul of points.” 

Finishing third with the 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP was Jon Fogarty (Bend, Ore.) and Alex Gurney (Irvine, Calif.).  “It was tough going without a win this season, but it wasn’t for lack of effort on the Gainsco guy’s part,” said Fogarty.  “It was a quite a strong end to the year.  We had good pace, and we did run up front, just never quite put everything together, which is exactly what you have to do.  You’ve got to be perfect to win one of these; the competition is tough.  It’s not like the wins are easy to come by.”

GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series points leaders Memo Rojas (Mexico City, Mexico) and Scott Pruett (Auburn, Calif.) driving the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley, finished seventh overall in DP to claim their third consecutive series title, and their fourth in five years (2008, ’10, ’11 and ’12).  Pruett also marks another milestone with the finish – securing his fifth DP championship – and setting a new GRAND-AM record.  GT teammates Emil Assentato and (Locust Valley, N.Y.) and Jeff Segal (Miami, Fla.), co-drivers of the #69 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458, who secured their GT class championship three weeks ago at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, will celebrate with Rojas and Pruett in Manhattan on Monday, October 1, when all four will be presented with Rolex Daytona Chronographs during the Rolex Champions Banquet presented by SunTrust at Gotham Hall. 

In the GT class, after leading for close to two hours of the race, Andy Lally (Northport, N.Y.), at the wheel of the #44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup car, was overtaken by the #57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R driven by Robin Liddell (England) with three laps remaining.  Building from the pole start of co-driver John Edwards (Cincinnati, Ohio), Liddell went on to win the class and earn the team it’s third victory of the year, having won previously at Watkins Glen and Montreal. 

“I had limited dry running yesterday [during practice] and so to be honest I didn’t really feel in good control of the race and the car for most of the race,” said Liddell.  “But towards the end it just turned into a big fight and we knew Lally was probably a bit short on fuel.  We didn’t really know how much they could do so we just tried to keep the pressure on him and see if we could force him to run out of fuel or make a mistake.  Fortunately that’s what happened at the end.  It was a tough race.  I felt mentally not really on top of the whole thing, but as the race progressed I got more into it.  In the end we were able to get a good rhythm.  We had a slow first pit stop which lost us a lot of track position, but as the race unfolded and we got back on sync with the strategy we were able to work our way back up.  From second through sixth in the championship everyone was close on points and we really felt that pressure coming into this race, knowing that if we had a slip up we could easily end up sixth in the championship.  The car performed very well all season and the guys have done a superb job, been absolutely faultless.  I’ve been with these guys five years now and this year they’ve really excelled in their performance of preparing the car and executing in the pits.”

Finishing second in the #51 APR Motorsport Audi R8 was South African native Dion von Moltke (Coral Gables, Fla.) and co-driver Jim Norman (Tampa, Fla.), for their first podium finish of the season.  Third was Alessandro Balzan (Rovigo, Italy), in his second series appearance, driving the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 with Johannes van Overbeek (San Francisco, Calif.).  The podium finish also earned Ferrari the GT manufacturer’s championship.

 Photo By: Rolex / Stephan Cooper

F3 Euro Series

Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke Motorsport) claimed victory in the 21st season round of the Formula 3 Euro Series. At the 4.005 kilometres long Circuit Ricardo Tormo near the Spanish city of Valencia, the Swede took the lead at the start and won from Spaniard Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam) and Italian Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam). With his second podium finish in his home event, Juncadella defended his lead in the Formula 3 Euro Series drivers’ standings, Pascal Wehrlein (Mücke Motorsport) is second, followed by Marciello.

The race was already decided on the first metres: in the dash towards the first corner, Felix Rosenqvist overtook Daniel Juncadella, who had started from pole position. While in the lead, the Mücke driver pulled clear from Juncadella and took the flag after 27 laps with a margin of 5.472 seconds. Behind third-placed Raffaele Marciello, Pascal Wehrlein finished as the best rookie in fourth place.

One weekend before the end of the season, the Prema Powerteam claimed an early title in the Formula 3 Euro Series teams’ classification. A pair of victories achieved by Marciello and Lewis and four more podium finishes were enough for the Italian team to wrap it up at Valencia.

Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke Motorsport): “The start was just like in the first race, apart from the fact that I didn’t get a drive-through penalty this time. My car was good and I kept attacking until the end of the race.”

Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam): “First of all, I have to say that Felix has deserved victory here. His start was better than mine and his speed in the race was better than mine, too. He has done a great job. I am not really happy, because today, my car wasn’t as good as yesterday. But I have scored many points by finishing second and now I have good chances to secure the title in the finale at Hockenheim.”

Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam): “Today, my car oversteered a lot. Nevertheless, I finished the race in third place ahead of Pascal Wehrlein, my rival for runner-up spot in the Formula 3 Euro Series drivers’ standings.

F3 Euro Series

AMERICAN MICHAEL LEWIS TAKES HIS FIRST WIN IN THE F3 EURO SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP.

Michael Lewis (Prema Powerteam) was delighted with his maiden race win in the Formula 3 Euro Series at the 4.005 kilometres long Circuit Ricardo Tormo near Valencia on Saturday afternoon. After 14 race laps, the American crossed the finish line 0.643 seconds ahead of rookie driver Sven Müller (Prema Powerteam). Pascal Wehrlein (Mücke Motorsport) took the flag in third place. Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam) remains on top in the drivers’ standings, the Spaniard finished seventh in the sprint race. Pascal Wehrlein moved up into second place.

Michael Lewis won the dash to the first corner from Sven Müller and Pascal Wehrlein. In the subsequent laps, Lewis didn’t succeed in pulling clear from his rivals, but his victory didn’t get into jeopardy. For William Buller (Carlin), the afternoon brought considerably more action than for Lewis. After the start, the Brit slotted into fourth place, but was put under pressure by his rivals for almost the entire duration of the race. Emil Bernstorff (ma-con Motorsport), Tom Blomqvist (ma-con Motorsport), Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam) and Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke Motorsport) attacked Buller, who only had to let Blomqvist past. The Brit eventually ended up fifth ahead of Bernstorff, Juncadella and Rosenqvist.

Michael Lewis (Prema Powerteam): “I am incredibly happy with my first win in the Formula 3 Euro Series. Today, the start was decisive, so I totally concentrated on that. After that, I just kept my own rhythm. The fact that, with this success, I now have achieved something that drivers like Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton or my compatriot Charlie Kimball already did before me, is just awesome.”

Sven Müller (Prema Powerteam): “My start was very good, but not good enough to overtake Michael. Because we already collided in the first race, I didn’t attack him with full risk. But second place is great, too, and my first Euro Series win will simply come later.”

Pascal Wehrlein (Mücke Motorsport): “I am happy, especially as I was racing with used tyres and I was able to keep up with the two guys in front of me. Getting past Will Buller at the start was important, because he was considerably slower.”

DTM

Maiden pole position for BMW driver Augusto Farfus…

Valencia. Qualifying of the DTM at Valencia in Spain was a thrilling affair. In the battle for the DTM title, all candidates made mistakes and failed to secure an optimal starting grid position. On Sunday, Brazilian Augusto Farfus will be starting from pole position with his BMW M3 DTM. Edoardo Mortarta from Italy and Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque (both Audi) will be starting from second and third place respectively. The Audi drivers turned out to be dominant with seven Audi A5 DTMs in the top ten.

“I am overjoyed with my maiden pole position in the DTM. Since my first lap on Friday, I have been feeling well at the track. Things were just going perfectly. On Sunday, there will be a good show and I will try to make it through without any problems,” said Farfus, who is in his maiden DTM season. The Audi drivers were also happy with their achievement. “I felt strong in qualifying. Unfortunately, I always made a little mistake at one place, so it wasn’t enough for pole,” Mortara explained.

At the 4.005 kilometres long Circuit Ricardo Tormo, the drivers had to deal with the recently applied, extremely slick asphalt. Title candidates Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz, 127 points), Bruno Spengler (BMW, 116 points) and Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz, 108 points) failed to set fast lap times to secure a decisive advantage for the penultimate round of the season. They will be starting from 16th, twelfth and 18th place. “Surely, 16th place on the grid is disappointing for me. Now, we have to analyse the data, but I am confident that our pace will be stronger in the race and with a good strategy, we can move up the ranks tomorrow,” points’ leader Paffett said.

The changeable conditions with rain on Friday and sunny spells on Saturday made it difficult to find the right set-up of the cars. Mercedes-Benz had problems with the track in particular, as only drivers from the brand with the three-pointed star were already out after the first qualifying heat: next to Green, the two ex-Formula 1 drivers David Coulthard (grid position 21) and Ralf Schumacher (grid position 22) were also affected with their DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupés.