Photo: DTM Media

René Rast claims close pole position at Zolder

Audi Sport Team Rosberg driver René Rast continued his strong form at Zolder, claiming the pole position for Saturday’s Race 1 at the Belgian track, 0.032 seconds ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg.

Defending champion Rast has closed the gap to Team ABT Sportsline’s Nico Müller in the standings to seven points as the Swiss could only manage eighth place.

The session had a five-minute delay as circuit officials worked on repairing a damaged barrier from an earlier support class race.

Rast quickly topped the classification, with WRT driver Habsburg then rising to the top despite having a lap time deleted for exceeding the track limits. Several drivers suffered the same fate, including WRT’s Harrison Newey and Fabio Scherer, Müller and Team RMR’s Lucas Auer.

Rast came out on top as the chequered flag waved over the main straight with a lap time of 1:18.843, beating Habsburg by just 0.034 seconds. Team Abt Sportsline’s Robin Frijns also improved at the last moment to qualify in third, 0.260 seconds behind Rast.

Team RMR’s Jonathan Aberdein was the fastest driver for BMW Motorsport in fourth place, 0.276 seconds off the pace, followed by Team Rosberg’s Jamie Green and WRT’s Harrison Newey.

Team RBM’s Philipp Eng qualified in seventh place, with championship leader Müller in eighth, 0.569 seconds behind his main rival.

WRT completed a competitive session with Fabio Scherer in ninth, with all three cars in the top ten. Team Phoenix’s Mike Rockenfeller completed the top ten, 0.608 seconds off the pace.

Rast said after the session: “The gap to Nico is just seven points in the championship and he’s starting from eighth, so we have all the ingredients we need to close the gap but, as we saw last Sunday, anything can happen.”

The start of Race 1 is scheduled for 13:30 CEST.