Front-running trio showing nerves in Valencia DTN qualifying

Top drivers to start from the back of the grid on SundayAugusto Farfus (BMW) claims first pole position of his DTM careerNew track surface a challenge for drivers, teams and Hankook competition tyres

In qualifying, the Circuit Ricardo Tormo wasnt a good venue for the three front-runners in the most popular international touring car series. Points leader Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) only ended up in 16th place in Saturdays qualifying for the penultimate DTM season round at Valencia. BMW driver Bruno Spengler, the Brits fiercest rival, didnt do any better than twelfth. Paffetts fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Jamie Green, third in the drivers standings, was classified 18th.Augusto Farfus (BMW) benefited from the weakness of the top drivers. The Brazilian drove like unleashed and claimed the maiden pole position of his DTM career. Audi driver Edoardo Mortara will be starting alongside him from second place on the grid into Sundays race. Filipe Albuquerque (Audi) was classified third in qualifying, followed by his fellow Audi driver Adrien Tambay. Robert Wickens was the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver in 14th position.

The new track surface at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia turned out to be a particular challenge for the drivers and teams. Compared to other tracks, the top layer of the asphalt in Valencia was very slick. With a relatively low grip potential and lacking references from the previous year, the task of the day was getting the Ventus competition tyres to work. The most important adjustment factors were the pressure and the temperature of the tyres. The development work between the DTM teams and the Hankook engineers in finding the right tyre settings for the race on Sunday was very intense.

Augusto Farfus (BMW): It is just great. I didnt expect to be this quick. The tyres worked well. When I consider Hankooks performance throughout the season, the tyres have always been absolutely reliable. Here as well. Before qualifying, we had made some minor changes that worked well. Hopefully, it will be dry for the race. In that case, I am absolutely optimistic.

Filipe Albuquerque (Audi): With the new asphalt, it wasnt very easy for all the drivers here. And so far, nobody had been able to practice at a dry track before qualifying, because it was very damp on Friday. In qualifying, I didnt do too well initially, but then I slowly got better and got a feeling for the tyres. They worked perfectly, but I was too eager and made some small mistakes. I am looking forward to the race. It is very long and a lot of things can happen.