Audi motorsport director Wolfgang Ullrich said it was the first time he had celebrated a pole position his driver didn't even have after Tom Kristensen just missed out on top spot in qualifying for the sixth round of the DTM at the Nurburgring.
Kristensen looked set to claim pole at the wheel of his Audi Sport Team Abt A4 DTM when he edged ahead of championship leader Bernd Schneider as the chequered flag flew, but as the Audi crew celebrated on pit wall, Spengler took the flag himself to claim pole by a tenth of a second – the first time in his career that the Canadian will start a DTM race from the head of the field.
“Congratulations to Bruno,” Kristensen said afterwards. “I am very happy with my qualifying session, even though I am a little bit disappointed to have been pushed from pole in the final second. Last year, we scored a double win here in changing weather conditions and I think that everything is possible tomorrow as well.
“As the weather is so uncertain, we have to keep our strategy for tomorrow open. For sure, it will be a long evening for the engineers and had I been on pole, it would have been different.”
Audi boss Ullrich admitted he was surprised to see Spengler produce the goods and steal pole from his driver – although he was quick to add that it was further indication of the fact that anything can happen in motorsport.
“This was the first time that I was delighted with a pole position that we didn't even have anymore,” he said. “Of course, we had an eye on Bruno's split times, but we didn't expect him to do such a good time in the final sector to make it to pole.
“However that is also a part of motorsport and surely can only happen in a championship like the DTM, where all the cars are always so closely together. For tomorrow, we have the best conditions for an exciting race.”
Of the other Audi drivers, Mattias Ekstrom will start from the third row of the grid after qualifying fifth, with Christian Abt and Heinz-Harald Frentzen the fourth row having also made it through to the final stage of qualifying.