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Whats inside... 03 | Slick 50 Feature 07 | Audi A6 Latest 09 | Go & Show 12 | The ‘BIG’ Picture 14 | Motorsport 26 | Classfieds

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Photo: Karl Bowdrey / Karl Bowdrey Photography

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Motorsport In brief

DTM | Rockerfella Returns The DTM was ready to see an epic battle for qualifying at the 1.929km Kent track, and there was a clear order of seeing just who was on the limit’s edge and who was off the pace. But one man stood above all, until he was removed from his ‘throne,” and replaced with another, due to a technical infringement.

Brands Hatch 18/19 May

With overcast skies once again, as the wind had picked up over the morning, the drivers were greeted with a bone-dry track, where all could push hard and reach speeds fast approaching 145 mph on the approach to Paddock Hill Bend. Mike Rockenfeller, just one of the three DTM drivers that will be dashing to the Nordschleife after their race in the United Kingdom, took to the track early to ensure clear air would provide a good platform for his pace. The 2010 24 Heures Du Mans winner was on the pace from the very beginning, posting a 41.952 second lap time as Q1 got underway, with Miguel Molina not far behind. The Spanish driver, whose Audi RS 5 DTM has the “Audi Cup” livery this weekend, was getting quicker and quicker throughout the 16 minute session, as the pair of Audi drivers were exchanging fastest laps, but BMW Motorsport’s Martin Tomczyk got into the mix, and went top of the times with a 41.540 with just 4 and a half minutes left. Paffett was running 9th, but the 2005 DTM champion seemed to have no answer, as the times kept tumbling even further with Wickens also seeming to find it difficult to get the maximum 12 | VAG Magazine Online | August 2013

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from the C-Class AMG Coupe. Clearly, there is some work to do at Stuttgart, especially with the fact that Audi Sport have shown that they are back to their best. Both Mercedes drivers were eliminated after Q2, along with Glock, Ekstrom, Dirk Werner and Audi’s “Iron Man,” Adrien Tambay. Q3 saw Munich and Ingolstadt take the fight to each other, as the 11-minute session saw the fight increase in intensity, as Tomczyk went three tenths quicker than Rockenfeller with a 41.189 second lap time, with Wittmann in close pursuit. Edoardo Mortara’s efforts were in vain, as “Mr. Speed” went wide at Paddock Hill Bend, touching the gravel, as his efforts were in vain, seeing him eliminated at the end of the session. Tomczyk and Rockenfeller were battling hard, leaving the rest of the field behind, as there was a margin of just 0.057 seconds between the pair. Timo Scheider, who won here in 2008, was also showing good form coming into the session, but his initial effort, that would have kept him in the running for the final shootout, was disallowed, another victim of the stringent track limit enforcement. Andy Priaulx had been showing great pace all the way through qualifying, as his Crowne Plaza M3 DTM had been set up pretty well, and he seemed to be more than making up for what had happened to the Guernsey driver last time out in Hockenheim. It seemed that the Guernsey flag that was flying directly in front of his pit box before practice that morning was a welcome source of inspiration for the 3-time WTCC Champion. He was even in the hunt for the final shoot out with just two minutes left, before finally placing 8th at the end of Q3.

Photo: Karl Bowdrey / Karl Bowdrey Photography

So after Spengler, Scheider, Wittmann and Molina were eliminated, we were down to the final four, with the Q4 one-lap shoot out being between three BMW M3 DTMs and a lone Audi RS 5 DTM. Sacramento’s Joey Hand went first, and set the bar with a 41.460 second lap time, but his BMW seemed to be a bit sideways at the exit of Clearways, compromising his run.

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