Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start Sunday’s second round of the 2009 DTM at the Lausitzring from the front row of the grid. In the single-lap qualifying of the fastest four drivers, Paul, who had achieved his first DTM pole one year ago at this circuit, set a time of 1m33.534.
Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m33.435) was 99 thousandths of a second faster than Paul and took second place. However, Gary will be relegated by five positions; a consequence of a collision in the season opener at Hockenheim two weeks ago. Pole position went to Mattias Ekström (Audi) with a 1m33.205.
Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) will start fifth on the grid; in Q3 he posted a lap of 1m34.188. Jamie Green (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m34.758) and Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m35.683) qualified their last year’s cars sixth and eighth.
Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) did not participate in qualifying after he suffered from engine problems in this morning’s free practice. The team decided to change the engine and to prepare the car for the race which means Ralf has to start from last place on the grid. The old engine will be tested on the dyno in Stuttgart to analyse what caused the problems.
Qualifying, part 1: With rain beginning to fall just after the start of part one, Green posted the fastest lap right at the beginning (1m23.561). All seven Mercedes-Benz drivers moved up to the second part of qualifying.
Qualifying, part 2: In the completely wet second part, Paffett was second with a 1m33.579 and the best C-Class driver. Mathias Lauda (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) in 12th place with a 1m36.553 and Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) with a 1m38.581 in 14th place did not make it to the next round.
Qualifying, part 3: Paffet was fastest with a time of 1m33.154; Spengler (1m34.188), Jamie Green (1m34.758) and Maro Engel (1m35.683) missed the final part of the four fastest drivers.
Gary Paffett (2009 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class), 2nd (1:33.435): “Clearly, the pole time was possible here for me and my qualifying result is tarnished by the relegation – but actually I wanted to start sixth on the grid and not seventh – this was what Norbert had told me after the penalization in Hockenheim. The forecast for tomorrow is rain and then everything is possible even from seventh on the grid. In 2004, I made it to the top from a seventh starting position in the dry.”
Paul Di Resta (2009 AMG Mercedes C-Class), 3rd (1:33.534): “I am happy to start from the front row, although I feel sorry for Gary and his relegation. We have been strong all day, be it in the dry or in the wet. My target for tomorrow is clear – I want to be among the top drivers, hopefully at the very top.”
Bruno Spengler (2009 Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class), 6th (1:34.188): “The result is not bad, but it could be better for me. However, in the third part of qualifying I lacked a lot of grip and we don’t know the reason yet. Anyway, with a good start a podium position should be possible tomorrow – I will give it my all.”
Jamie Green (2008 Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class), 7th (1:34.758): “I am glad that I made it to the third part of qualifying with my 2008 car. Seventh place was the best possible result in these conditions.”
Maro Engel (2008 GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class), 8th (1:35.683): “I am satisfied to be again among the top eight following my seventh starting position in Hockenheim. Our team did a great job in difficult conditions. The surface was really slippery and it was not easy to keep the car on the track in the corners.“
Mathias Lauda (2008 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class), 12th (1:36.553): “I am quite happy that I made it to the second part of qualifying. Although I usually feel really comfortable in the rain, I was not able to improve towards the end of part two due to the traffic on the track.”
Susie Stoddart (2008 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class), 14th (1:38.581): “I posted my fastest lap right at the beginning when the track was still quite OK, so it was nice to move up to Q2. Later the track was really slippery – like ice.”
Ralf Schumacher (2009 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class), 20th (did not take part in qualifying due to an engine change): “After we were not able to solve the engine problem immediately we decided to change the engine and to skip qualifying. On one hand it’s a shame because I need every metre on the track; however, it’s even more important that everything goes well in tomorrow’s race. I look forward to interesting fights at the back of the field and want to improve as much as possible.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “That was close – Gary was definitely in a position here to set the pole time as demonstrated by his best time in the third qualifying. Unfortunately, he made a mistake under braking on the only possible lap in qualifying 4 at the first sector and therefore lost more than half a second compared to his previous best time at this sector. By his terrific time at the final sector he eventually missed the best time by only a little more than two tenths. After the marshals in Hockenheim had ruled that Gary will be relegated by five positions here, he will now be seventh on the grid. Instead, Paul will start from the front row and a total of five C-Class cars will take up the race among the top eight which at least looks significantly better than at Hockenheim previously. Today our teams worked well and concentrated and were on the track in qualifying 1 right at the beginning and thus prevented us from getting struck by the same misfortune as our competitors. Good job and thank you for this to all team members.”
Source: Daimler AG