Audi's Mike Rockenfeller admits he must up his game in qualifying in order to improve on his eighth place finish achieved during yesterday's opening DTM race at Zandvoort.

The Team Phoenix driver qualified 13th for yesterday's first race and felt salvaging eighth was probably the best he could have hoped for in the circumstances.

Rockenfeller bemoaned the effect that the performance weight is having on the Audi's but conceded that BMW have made a definite leap forward from the start of the year.

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The 2013 DTM champion is someway off the pace in the drivers championship and sits 56 points away from leader Jamie Green in twelfth position.

"Prior to the weekend you obviously hope for more than P8 in the first race but coming from 13th in qualifying was the maximum I could achieve today [Saturday]," Rockenfeller told crash.net.

"I was able to keep up with the BMW's in front of me but you can't overtake, it's a shame but it's nothing new.

"Obviously BMW have made a step forward, they're in much better shape than were in from the start of the season. They are 25 kilos lighter than what I was, which is quite a bit on this circuit but if you take that away I think we would have been quite equal.

"I really hoped for a better qualifying or to be at least the top Audi. Jamie [Green] was P6 and there was a good chance for us to be there as well. Qualifying wasn't ideal. We'll try to improve the car a little bit for Sunday and then hopefully have another shot."

Ahead of today's second race, Rockenfeller isn't expecting any miracles but says the nature of Zandvoort may lend the opportunity of working an undercut during the pit-window.

"It's tough with the weight we have. If I can manage to get into the top five in qualifying, I'll be very happy. This year has been particularly difficult because it's clear that the tyre is too hard and there is no degradation," the 2013 DTM champion continued.

"You might be able to make an undercut here; maybe it can work because of the nature of the track. You can use the advantage of the fresh during the out lap but that's all. In the past you could dream of a podium starting from P13 but that isn't the case at this moment."