Photo: DTM Media

Marco Wittmann scores his first pole of 2018 ahead of René Rast and Gary Paffett

BMW Motorsport Team RMG driver Marco Wittmann scored his first pole position of the season in a last and very competitive qualifying session of 2018 at Hockenheim ahead of title contenders René Rast and Gary Paffett while Paul di Resta could only manage 11th place.

The final lap times were set with just six minutes left on the clock, just enough time for a last flying lap. Audi Sport Team Rosberg drivers Jamie Green and Rast started the lap together so the Briton could give the reigning champion a tow down the fast section between Turns 4 and 6.

Meanwhile, Paffett went wide at Turn 1, jumping over the kerbs and losing the first sector, with his lap time deleted, but managed to be quick enough in very his last attempt to improve his qualifying time for third on the grid.

Wittmann would set the fastest lap time of the session with just seconds to go, recording 1:32.683 to beat Rast by just 0.054 seconds. Paffett was 0.163 seconds behind the BMW driver.

The BMWs of Bruno Spengler and Augusto Farfus were next, with Mercedes-AMG’s Edoardo Mortara in sixth, just 0.233 seconds off the pace.

Joel Eriksson and Philipp Eng were next for BMW Team RBM, with Audi Sport Team Abt Sportline’s Nico Müller in ninth. Glock completed the top ten, 0.429 seconds off the pace.

Di Resta could only manage 11th place in the qualifying session, 0.431 seconds behind Wittmann, the only one of the title contenders to not score any points in the qualifying session.

Audi Sport Team Abt Sportline’s Robin Frijns qualified 18th and last as the Dutch had a different, race-focussed strategy, as he received yesterday his fifth warning of the season, resulting in a ten-place drop penalty for today’s grid.

After qualifying, Paffett leads on 240 points, increasing to his advantage to di Resta to seven points but with Rast closing in to a 14-point deficit.

The start of the final DTM race of 2018 is scheduled for 13:30 CEST.