Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) will start Sunday’s ninth and penultimate round of the 2009 DTM at Dijon, France from pole position. In the most exciting qualifying of the year so far with changeable conditions and rain towards the end, Bruno set a time of 1m19.914. Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start second on the grid with a qualifying time of 1m20.446. This is the second pole for Mercedes out of the last three DTM races. In the final Q4, Spengler and his C-Class were a class of their own. The first car of the competition was almost one second behind.
Attended by former Formula 1 and Mercedes-Benz DTM driver Jean Alesi, French-Canadian Bruno Spengler who lives in Straßburg clinched his first pole of the year in his home race; his seventh in his 51st DTM race. It is the 98th pole for Mercedes-Benz in 319 DTM races since 1988 (30.7 percent) and the 49th of the “new DTM” since 2000 (48.5 percent).
Maro Engel with the 2008 GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class finished fifth with a 1m21.666 ahead of his last year’s team mate Ralf Schumacher with the Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class (1m21.768); it is the best DTM qualifying result so far for both.
Behind them, Jamie Green (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m22.152) and Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m22.312) will start side-by-side from row four. Thus a total of six out of eight Mercedes cars in the field will start from the first four rows.
Qualifying, part 1: With light rain beginning to fall, all drivers went out immediately at the green light. Maro Engel at the wheel of the 2008 GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class posted the fastest lap with a 1m09.989 – all C-Class drivers moved up to the second part of qualifying whilst five competitors missed it in positions 15 to 19.
Qualifying, part 2: This time Jamie Green set the fastest lap (1m09.867), again a last year’s Mercedes car was in front. Mathias Lauda (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m10.252) and Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m10.477) ended up 11th and 13th and missed the third round.
Bruno Spengler (2009 Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) Pole Position (1:19.914): “A great feeling to be back on pole position. I dedicate this pole to my team – the guys did a perfect job. My pole is the best basis for victory and this is what I aim for tomorrow.”
Paul Di Resta (2009 AMG Mercedes C-Class) second (1:20.446): “Due to the changeable weather conditions we had to modify our tyre selection three times and our team performed great doing so – thank you guys. Tomorrow I aim for victory – my C-Class is capable of winning.”
Maro Engel (2008 GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class), fifth (1:21.666): “Compliments to my team who gave me a fantastic car, particularly in dry conditions. If it stayed dry towards the end, I certainly would have made it to Q4.”
Ralf Schumacher (2009 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) sixth (1:21.768): “The difficult conditions today caused a lot of work for my team and I want to thank the guys for an excellent job. In the end, a better result might have been possible, but I didn’t want to take chances. Sixth is my best DTM qualifying result so far.”
Jamie Green (2008 Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) seventh (1:22.152): “A good qualifying for me, with third place at the beginning and even first place in Q2. In the wet I didn’t manage an optimum lap, so I ended up seventh.”
Gary Paffett (2009 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) eighth (1:22.312): “I am disappointed. My C-Class was the fastest car today, but unfortunately we made a mistake with the tyre selection. I will give it my all tomorrow – one of my two wins this year I clinched from seventh on the grid, maybe I can do it also from eighth.”
Mathias Lauda (2008 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class), 11th (1:10.252): “This was one of my best qualifyings of the season; however, in the end I missed Q3 by a tenth of a second – what a shame. Anyway, 11th place and my performance today are quite ok.”
Susie Stoddart (2008 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) 13th (1:10.477): “I am happy to make it to Q2, because everything was very close in the end, and also the rain did not help. Now I look forward to an exciting race tomorrow.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “A good team performance: a 1-2 qualifying with Bruno ahead of Paul and six Mercedes C-Class cars within the top eight. In today’s Q4, Bruno was almost one second faster than the best Audi which is impressive. We don’t think of the championship – we think of winning.”
Source: Daimler AG