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Bortolotti Beats Grenier to Maiden Series Pole

Italian ace captures first pole in DTM as Mercedes takes second, third in Portimao…

Photo: DTM

Mirko Bortolotti took his maiden pole position in qualifying for the opening race of the DTM season at Portimao.

The Italian claimed the top spot in a closely contested session by posting a 1:39:678 behind the wheel of his No. 63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.

In doing so, he bested the No. 55 GruppeM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Mikael Grenier by a mere 0.011 seconds.

The Canadian, in his first DTM outing, had jumped up to the top of the session by reeling off a time of 1:39:689 and looked set for pole until Bortolotti’s late flyer demoted him to second place.

In doing so, Bortolotti secured the first DTM pole position for himself, as well as his team upon its series debut.

Lamborghini also took its first pole position at the start of its second year in the championship.

Lucas Auer rounded out the top three behind Grenier, having sat at the top of the session after the first qualifying runs had taken place.

He then dropped to fourth behind Bortolotti, Grenier and the Red Bull AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Felipe Fraga.

The Austrian was then able to post a late improvement to jump back ahead of Fraga, who concluded his first DTM qualifying session in fourth place.

The top five was completed by the T3 Motorsport Lamborghini of Nicki Thiim, who improved at the checkered flag.

Thiim only just outqualified the second GruppeM Mercedes of Maro Engel and the Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 of Sheldon van der Linde in sixth and seventh.

Van der Linde was ahead of Luca Stolz and defending series champion Maximilian Götz in eighth and ninth, respectively.

Nico Mueller rounded out the top ten as the best-placed Audi driver in tenth place.

The Swiss ace had set a fastest lap in the early stages but dropped back throughout the remainder of the session, as Audi proved unable to match the pace set by the front runners.

Three-time series champion Rene Rast was 11th, with Ricardo Feller thirteenth behind Maximilian Buhk.

Clemens Schmid was 14th, with the top 15 rounded out by the Team HRT Mercedes driven by Arjun Maini.

The first race of the season at Portimao is set for 12:30 p.m. local time.

RESULTS: Qualifying 1

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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