(Motorsport-Total.com) – First DTM qualifying of the season in Portimao – and after camouflage and deception in the fight for a good balance of performance, the teams have finally put their cards on the table: the Grasser-Lamborghini driver has secured the pole position Mirko Bortolotti with the best time of 1: 39.678, for which the Italian has even cut the time of 1: 39.9 calculated by the AVL.
First points of the season: Grenier, Bortolotti and Auer (from left to right) can be happy.
Lap times of approximately 1:41 were achieved during training. Behind Bortolotti, who left everything in one breath saving a set of tires, the surprise of qualifying: the Canadian DTM rookie Mikael Grenier placed his Mercedes Group M in second place with just 0.011 seconds ahead of his colleague. Winward Lucas Auer brand (+ 0.041).
“It was a perfect lap,” Bortolotti happily told ‘ran.de’. And then he says dryly: “We risked a bit and in the end we just went out to take a shot. I’ve never been so spoiled in years to be able to take two shots, so I’m used to it, just to hit a shot in qualifying.” .
Bortolotti on the success of poker tires: “A dream scenario”
Now he hopes for an advantage for the race: “We managed to save a set, which I think is important, especially given the temperatures”, he points out that in the morning it was around 20 degrees. “It’s a dream scenario.”
What do you expect from it? “It doesn’t make a big difference for tomorrow because we still have to change the tire in the race. So tomorrow we all have the same situation in qualifying. But for the race it could certainly be an advantage for the stop ”.
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The Italian Bortolotti, who lives in Vienna, triumphed in the Grasser-Lamborghini Enlarge
AF Corse Ferrari driver Felipe Fraga also proved to be extremely strong on his DTM debut in fourth place, 0.060 seconds late. The best BMW driver was Schubert driver Sheldon van der Linde in seventh place. His deficit was 0.277 seconds.
Reigning champion Götz in ninth place: “It was brutal”
Reigning champion Maximilian Götz finished ninth with a time of 0.412 as fifth-best Mercedes-AMG driver, but is pleased with the strength of the AMG. “It was brutal,” he tells ‘ran.de’. “I knew: this year is on a different level. If you don’t do it right, you’ll be somewhere in the middle of nowhere. But I’m happy, it’s a great start for us. Congratulations to the other two drivers.”
However, traffic has played a “massive” role. “You have perfectly set the air pressure and the heating, but when there is traffic in the last sector, it no longer works,” he explains.
Best Audi only in tenth place, satisfied Rast anyway
For the Audi drivers, however, there was a disappointment: the Ingolstadt-based company, which was usually leading the tests, had its best driver, Rosberg-Audi driver Nico Müller, in tenth place – 0.420 seconds of delay . Right behind him is Rene Rast, the best Abt driver.
“I am very satisfied with my personal performance or our performance,” says the three-time DTM champion. “My goal was to be at the level of Kelvin or Ricardo,” he alludes to his teammates, who finished 13th (Feller) and 17th (van der Linde).
“Nico is right in front of me, so we also managed to catch Rosberg. It didn’t look like that after the sessions, but we narrowed the gap.” Overall, however, he sees room for improvement: “We still have half a second to take the lead. We still have to see what to do there, but basically we are in a good position to finish in the points.”
Disappointment for Porsche, Loeb strong in midfield
Things went even worse for the newcomers Porsche than for Audi: the best 911 GT3 R, driven by Porsche SSR driver Dennis Olsen, finished just 19th, 0.710 seconds off the best time.
How did it go for AF Corse Ferrari driver Sebastien Loeb? The 48-year-old rally superstar finished 21st in his first DTM qualifying, 0.786 seconds behind – a great result after nine years without a GT3 race weekend. The first DTM race of the year starts at 1.30pm.